How does a traffic jam form?


The last weekend of July was marked by an impressive number of kilometers of traffic jams. The A7 motorway counted that day 860 km of traffic jam, a phenomenon inherent in summer holiday periods. But how does a traffic jam form?

What causes a traffic jam?

The starting point of a traffic jam can be multiple and can sometimes result from a single driver:

  • A road accident;
  • A driver who slows down on detecting a object on the road;
  • A wire change;
  • A turn too tight;
  • A nervous motoristdangerous manoeuvres;
  • Etc.

If there are several causes causing a slowdown in circulation, the mechanism is similarly the same. Moreover, we distinguish several types of traffic jam .

Please check the condition of your vehicle and the guarantees of your car insurance before a long journey on the road in order to go on vacation with peace of mind!

The accordion traffic jam

In order to understand the formation of a traffic jam, you can imagine marbles within a pipe. If one of the balls slows down during its run, this affects the following balls. Gradually, the balls slow down one after the other, then causing a cork.

Indeed, when car A slows down, vehicle B, behind, brakes more so as not to hit car A, but also to respect a certain safety distance. The same phenomenon affects the vehicle behind car B, etc. This is called theaccordion effect or theaccordion traffic jam .

The problem with this type of traffic jam is its amplification . As a result of this phenomenon, the behavior of drivers can amplify and aggravate the traffic jam. This is the case, for example, when a motorist:

  • Overreactsperforming a dangerous maneuver;
  • Doesn’t react fast enoughand causes an accident.

The saturation traffic jam

One of the main factors causing the creation of a traffic jam is here carrying capacity of a road. Indeed, when a axis was not created to accommodate a certain number of vehicles , clogs form very quickly. This is unfortunately the daily lot of the inhabitants of urban areas.

Thus, as soon as the carrying capacity of the road is lowand that the traffic density is high a saturation traffic jamappears. In this summer period, traffic jams are legion. During the crossover thousands of vehicles find themselves at the same time on the same roads and then form traffic jams.

The speedof some vehicles can also amplify this type of traffic jam. When several drivers overspeed, they end up slowing down, in particular to respect a certain safety distance and avoid an accident. This will have the effect of forcing motorists behind to slow down and so on, until a traffic jam is created, called saturation traffic jam.

The traffic jam of curiosity

Heavy traffic, capricious weather, risky behavior… road accidentsare unfortunately daily. When they occur on a fast lane, they are dangerous not only for the accident victim, but also for other motorists.

Furthermore, road accidents are source of curiosity . As a result, other drivers, who are sometimes on the opposite lane, slow down to watch . A behavior that can then create a traffic jam.

Can we reduce traffic jams?

reduce traffic jams

If there are no miracle solutions for reduce traffic jamsapart from being patient, a few behaviors can make traffic smoother:

  • Respect safety distances in order to avoid sudden braking and thus reduce the risk of an accident;
  • Resist the urge to change lanesat the risk of creating new slowdowns;
  • Drive in the far right lane , because staying in the left lane is prohibited. The left lane allows overtaking. Moreover, when a conductor does not exceed, he does not change wire and thus reduces the creation of slowdown.

What are the most congested cities in France?

According to the magazine Auto plus, reindeerwas the most congested city in France in September 2021. Rennais spent more than 40 hours at the wheel during rush hour, including 6 p.m. in traffic jams. Come next :

  • Marseilles;
  • Maroon;
  • Lyons;
  • Toulon.

Parisonly reaches 7e position with nevertheless 15 h spent in traffic jams.

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