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How do "phantom traffic jams" happen?

2284 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  David Blaine
Pretty much anyone of us that lives in a big city anywhere in the world has come across a phantom traffic jam. Basically a traffic jam that just appeared out of nowhere with no accident, lane closure, road construction to cause the traffic jam. You wait and wait to see what caused the traffic jam then all of a sudden everything clears up. Some ridiculously smart guys have come up with an actual equation on how and why this happens. Their equation and explanation are in the link below.

Equation: Factors for Predicting Phantom Traffic Jams | Magazine
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I always wondered about that. Usually driving home from work theres always a section of highway that has a huge pile up. But as soon as it gets to a certain point it magically clears up.
whatever possessed them to make an equation for phantom traffic jams? either way i think its pretty cool that they did. hahaha.
I want a phantom traffic jam detector attached to my GPS to be able to predict them. I wonder if it would be somthing like Dr Venkman's invention in Ghost Busters?

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Wow, people really have a lot of time on their hands. I HATE it when there is a traffic jam for no apparent reason. It's even worse when it is from rubberneckers!

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