What Causes Traffic Jams in L.A.? Well… It’s Science [VIDEO]

Posted by

Ever drive on the freeway in a traffic jam for a few minutes, no sign of an accident or crash in sight, and then all of a sudden the freeway opens up, as if by magic, and you find yourself once again moving freely to your desired destination?

In this two minute explanation via Scientific American editor Larry Greenemeir discusses this phenomena and how the synchronization of vehicle flow (and the disruption of that flow) causes traffic jams to occur.


Short version: The more braking (sudden decrease in speed) and higher the volume of the cars on the road, the more traffic there’s going to be.

In any case, the vid may not solve your traffic woes next time you’re on the 405 during rush hour, but at least you’ll know there’s some type of rhyme and reason. The more you know, right?

Have a pet-peeve about the traffic in Los Angeles you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *