Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yes, Traffic Jams Happen Out of Thin Air

If you're anything like me, you are sometimes exasperated on a highway when there's a big traffic jam for no apparent reason.

No accidents, no ice, no construction, just a bunch of cars backing up for miles.

Today, on BoingBoing, I saw a great explanation of these jams.  If somebody hits the brakes, the effect of that acts like a shock wave from an explosion through the cars behind, making everybody brake until the cars clump up.

So listen up: Don't hit the brakes for no friggin reason why you're out on the Interstate. You'll annoy TONS of people. Including me. And you really don't want to annoy me.

Below is a video that shows how it works: Pretty fascinating, especially if you're a geek

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