Thursday, June 12, 2008

Traffic Theories

So, I stole this link from a friend's blog. It is about highway driving behavior.
However, I woke up and upon entering my car decided this would be a fun commute because I could try this theory out. However, I found three reasons this does not work in the real world:
1) That gap you leave in front of you is just asking for people to cut you off (or merge in front of you) In fact, merging is not factored into this theory at all.
2) It is hard to determine the average speed of traffic as a whole from the few cars you can see (and the average speed is sometimes slower than your car goes without doing anything. And even if you go the average speed of traffic, there is always the guy who will tailgate you to go faster or be pushed off the highway.
3) It doesn't work if "traffic" is due to an accident :-P


Steve Turnbull said...

Hey BP,

I just found your link on Taylor's blog. Welcome to the 'sphere.

The guy who wrote that article/study said that in his experience, most people did NOT jump into the long gap in front of him. I wonder what the difference is.

I've been doing this on a smaller scale for a long time, just trying to smooth out the flow of my own driving and have fewer stops and starts, and it does work for me on that level.

Bethany said...

I've seen it work at this stop sign in Woodbury. Its one lane so merging and cutting off is not an issue. It gets backed up every morning. The unsaid rule seems to be everyone should just coast (no brakes, no gas). Everyone keeps moving, mind you at a slow pace, but moving none the less.