Traffic Simulator

How To Fix Rush Hour Traffic

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Average Distance Between Cars:

Control the distance between cars with the slider above.

Remember this: Always keep a large, safe following distance even at slow speeds in heavy traffic. By doing this you will be helping to avoid traffic congestion at rush hour on the highway. If everyone practiced this then commute times would be shortened and there would be less traffic congestion and less braking.

Most drivers today seem to think that they should drive very close to the car in front of them to make more progress during traffic. But this way of driving just contributes to traffic congestion. Go ahead and change the car distance slider above to 15 feet or less, which is the average distance most people drive in heavy traffic and is less than 1 car length. You will notice that after a short while the traffic congestion starts and the average speed of the cars goes down. Here is the reason why:

When cars are merging onto the highway from an on-ramp and the cars in the slow lane are driving at a close distance, not leaving a safe enough gap for the cars to merge from the on-ramp then the drivers have to press their brakes to allow the cars to merge. This causes a domino effect so that all the cars behind them that are driving to closely to the car in front of them also have to press their brakes. This causes the traffic to slow down to a crawl. However, if the cars in the slow lane are driving at a large, safe distance from each other, such as 100 feet or more, then the cars merging have plenty of room to maintain their speed. If, by chance the driver in the slow lane has to press their brakes in order to let a car merge in front of them, it would NOT cause a domino effect if all the cars behind them are driving at a large, safe distance.

Also when a driver is driving in the fast lane but his exit is coming up, he then needs to merge into the slow lane before his off-ramp. If all the cars are following too closely together then he needs to slam on his brakes so that he does not miss his exit and then look for an opportunity to switch lanes. This causes a chain reaction in both the fast lane and the slow lane. All the cars that are following at too close of a distance need to also slam on their brakes in both lanes! But if the cars are driving at a large, safe distance in both the slow lane and the fast lane, the driver merely has to signal, slow down just a bit if a car is next to him and change lanes without using his brakes. None of the other cars would have to use their brakes and traffic would keep moving smoothly at the speed limit.

Adjust the car distance slider above to different distances in the Traffic Simulator and see how increasing the distance to the car in front of you to a large, safe distance even at slow speeds in heavy traffic can help to decrease traffic congestion and increase speeds.

Don't be part of the problem. Be part of the solution. Always keep a large, safe following distance even at slow speeds in heavy traffic.

Last updated on February 3, 2017
Created on November 5, 2015

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