You’re Driving Wrong and It’s Causing Traffic Jams

You’re Driving Wrong and It’s Causing Traffic Jams

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Anyone who lives in a major city knows that
traffic is one of those niggling, persistent annoyances. And a new study has identified a potential
cause: you’re not keeping the right distance from the car behind you. Which sounds like it can’t be your problem
since you can’t control the guy that’s staying uncomfortably close to your bumper. True. But mathematical models show that if every
car on the road kept the same distance between the car in front of AND behind it, traffic
would move seamlessly and potentially even twice as fast! But of course it’s not that simple. Traffic is a great example of EMERGENT PROPERTY,
a philosophical term used to describe the phenomenon of many small things compiling
to create something bigger. With traffic, it’s the many individuals
cars together forming a complex traffic mess. That’s because humans bring a lot of variables
to the mix. A driver is usually — and rightly — most
focussed on the car she’s following, but if she brakes hard the car behind her will
have to brake a little harder. If she gets close to another car the density
in that one area will cause a slowdown. Mathematical models have shown that, basically,
at a certain density there are enough variables brought by human reaction time and individual
driving habits to cause a traffic jam. We have a little on that right here. Interestingly, this is a human problem. Ants don’t experience traffic jams; they
move as quickly in small groups as they do en masse. Bats are the same. They fly in large groups, each one tracking
the bats around him with echolocation. They play follow the leader, even if that
leader is in the back of a pack, in an impressive display of group coordination. But we’re not a colony, we’re individuals! Yeah, except that self-driving cars could
bring this colony-like behaviour to humans. A simple solution the new research offers
is sensors to improve bilateral control in cars. Current adaptive cruise controls monitors
the car ahead of you… providing it’s not miles down the freeway. A similar rear-facing sensor would be an easy
change to that same system. Looking back is really no harder than looking
forward, and we wouldn’t even need to change the roads. The result would be well worth it. Not only could we reduce the stress of rush
hour driving, minimizing start-stop traffic would cut CO2 emissions and help you save
fuel… and also make driving safer. It could really be a win-win-win all around. For more insight into the science all around
you, be sure to subscribe. And speaking of weird traffic patterns, is
anything truly random? Jules dove into that one right here. Fun driving fact: driving while blindfolded
is, weirdly, explicitly illegal in the state of Alabama…

100 thoughts on “You’re Driving Wrong and It’s Causing Traffic Jams”

  1. Ok I find you really attractive and I have a crush on you but what I find weird is how much you look like my freaking mom. I'm not into that stuff btw.

  2. ** CAR MANUFACTURES READ*** Asking people to make changes brings about more chaotic variables that would have the same topographical outcome as what currently exists. A simple solution would be for car manufactures to simply change the software that creates beeps in cars that have proximity sensors. Currently they look only for distance during parking. If the car was traveling at a speed greater then 35/mph, then the car should consider distance based on time. That way it would beep if the car in front or behind was greater then or less than say 3 seconds of travel time at the given velocity. If the car behind it was the source of the alert, then the car should turn the break lites on and cause the car behind them to slow down, whether they have proximity sensor or not.
    The reason that bats and ants don't have the problem of congestion is there are automated channels of communication, a feature that doesn't exist for individuals on the highways.

  3. Its called gapping. The way it legally works is that you should allow a safe distance from your car to the car in front. No one exceeding the posted speed limit. If everyone does that then you have the optimum travel rate and safety. If however the car behind you closes the gap for any reason you don't. Do not speed up to create a space behind you because the car behind will 97% of the time speed up to realise the gap anyway.

  4. I can control how close the driver behind me is following, by slamming the brakes. It wouldn't be my fault either because he was following too closely to stop in time.

  5. I love your space history presentation but if you're for self-driving cars and fully automated cars that you've drunk the Kool-Aid and you are helping the Illuminati to take over the planet

  6. The argument that you need to maintain a safe distance from the car behind you, though she did point out that you can't really control this, seems to blame drivers for being tailgated and takes responsibility away from the person doing the tailgating. You are the car in front of the car behind you and they need to leave enough space between their vehicle and yours. If people stopped trying to rush and tailgate and weave between lanes, traffic would move more smoothly and they would get to their destination faster

  7. win win win all around ? does making demographic explosion a more tolerable death sentence for our earth any beneficial to anyone? Hell no.

  8. Every time I'm at the back of the line during a red light and catch the red light again before crossing the intersection I wonder how many cars would make it through if everyone accelerated at the same time once the light turned green vs waiting for the car in front of you to start moving. Imagine how efficient traffic will be when cars can communicate with each other, or some kind of intersection network, to adjust your speed so everyone just crosses the intersection without stopping, flowing through the gaps between cars. Same with merging onto freeways/interstates.

  9. Adaptive cruise control is great – my car has it. Untiil some asshat pulls out in the gap that the car is leaving between it and the one in front, requiring it to brake (kinda) hard in order to a) prevent a collision because the guy who just pulled out is going slower than you are, and b) to re-attain the car's desired/configured distance to the vehicle in front (now the asshat). It's the same issue, with the same cause – humans. If ALL cars had adaptive cruise, and everyone used it, then it'd never be an issue. But alas, I doubt that problem will ever REALLY go away.

  10. lmao. its called driving 20 over the speed limit driving a sports car, youll get past traffic real quick if your skilled enough to shift lanes fast while not looking like a douchebag and cutting people off. hate axis road stoplights ? just take the right turn and drive to the opposite lane right turn to get past the red light if u can turn right on red there. perks of driving a sports car u can get past all the slow idiots like a breeze 😏

  11. Ok this video is obviously very generic. Traffic is caused by:

    Elderly people that cant maintain the speed limit or react accordingly.

    People on their cell phones watching YouTube or on Facebook or texting etc.

    People that are lost or daydreaming.

    People eating while driving or smoking

    Overall just dumb or distracted lol

  12. Another thing is people who ride the "passing lane" that need to be on the opposite side of the road and then make that last second dash across multiple lanes. Everyone tries to play the whats the fastest lane game and it ends causing twice the traffic.

  13. You didn't mention the droves of people staring at their phone, going 10 miles an hour slower than everyone else, and leaving 20 car lengths ahead of them.

  14. Hey Seeker, can you guys explain what currency will we use in a spacefaring/exploration market? If we finally colonize Mars or trap an asteroid, how will our global market behave with resources that will come from outside our planet? With newer materials that can be discovered with unprecedented values? (Now that SpaceX successfully used reusable rockets.) Will Gold still be the standard? I remember someone explaining that Gold is pretty rare in our solar system, atleast. Please make a video about this. 'Coz I'd really like to know.

  15. I try to get on and off the roads as fast as possible because I realize I'm not the only person on the road. So if the speed limit is say, 55, I drive between 55-60, regardless of which lane I'm in. Remember, if you decide to be selfish on the road, and drive under the speed limit, even just 5 under, you force everyone else behind you to go even slower and that's impeding traffic. These are the drivers who cause the most wrecks, slow and nervous drivers, so if your not comfortable, you need to get off the road till you relax.

  16. Comparing our traffic flow to that of ants seems like a truly pointless comparison in which no conclusions can be drawn. Ants aren't exactly the same as 4000 lb vehicles that require massive amounts of energy to accelerate and decelerate, and are more spatially restricted as they must be on a road.

  17. You mean, all those times I check the rearview to ensure that when I'm braking, I'm also giving the guy behind me enough time to brake, I'm actually being pretty awesome?

    I mean, I always knew I was a better driver than the rest of them, but it's nice to get confirmation now and then.

  18. Ive said this for years. I also believe that multi-vehicle speeds contribute to the problem along with hills. Imagine a vehicle travelling +120 kmh in the left lane wants to exit while the vehicles in the centre lane are driving at 110 kmh. It doesnt work. Someone needs to brake and your brake should never be required on a highway unless traffic comes to a halt.

  19. **1-Did the Mathematical model take into account the fact that even if one maintains safe speed and distance there always going to be THOSE IDIOTS jumping right in front of you thus reducing the safe buffer zone relative to speed in the scenario one would constantly be slowing down to maintain safe distance.**
    **2- " 01:19 We're not a colony, we're individuals, then why do we crave been nurtured , why do we crave social interactions. why do we crave attachments, Why do we crave Facebook and Instagram "LIKES" Now if we dare not to act as expected by the establish Social norm / colony rules a psychiatrist or psychologist will diagnose us as having a chemical imbalance and will throw the DSM-5 at any one of us.**

  20. Bullshits some people are driving way too slow, if the speed limits is 60 some of them are driving on 45 also when hump coming they stop their car completely

  21. Following this for your own personal drive saves from the grind of stop and go/gas to brake driving. Even one person following this rule can also have a positive effect for everyone behind them. Keep enough space to coast to slow down when the car in front is playing the stop and go game. The goal is to never need to hit your brakes or worse come to a full stop. Just average your speed somewhere between their stop and go. Saves a lot on gas too. If you are driving at a steady speed without having to light up your brakes, then at least some of the people behind you are benefiting from not having to hit theirs. If a brake light lighting up causes a wave of breaking behind you, by not having to brake you are essentially cancelling that wave. The only issue is aggressive drivers stealing that space in front of you, but if you keep an eye on them, you can close your gap off enough to not let them through. This works usually as most aggressive drivers pack themselves so tight in their own space that they don't have the mobility to take advantage of yours, unless they are extremely aggressive and gun it.

  22. Its impossible for cars to have a constant distance from eachother. Cars differ in performance, people differ in skill. Cars will have to slow down because you or others will want to switch lanes.
    Sign me out of we want to fix traffic jams by driving like maniacs just to maintain a perfect spot on a crowded street of speeding cars. A simple mistake could have alot more and alot bigger car crashes.

  23. Are you going to supply all these automated cars to each and every driver? Last I checked, those things cost money, and nit everyone xan afford a new car with all the gadgets. If they made every single new car with all the safety tach as standard equipment, then that is a good first step. Right now, it's all expensive optional equipment on most cars, not all. But then you have kids wanting their first car. Can they get a brand new car? Nope, they buy used. And no used car they can buy would even remotely have the tech. Even if 90% of cars have this and the drivers who have it uses it, traffic jams will still be prevalent.
    So yes, this all sounds good on paper and in theory, but it can never happen in our lifetimes. That means 100% of all vehicles on the road needs to have this tech and 100% of drivers needs to use it. So we will have to wait until the allotment of all used cars available has the tech. At least 25 years.
    Back to a previous statement….every car needs to come standard with everything. The only options a car should come with are: ext color, int color, cloth vs leather, engine size and type, wheels. If every car came with the same fully optioned tech, then the overall production of the car will go down. The electrical harness will be the same. Under the current way with all the different options you can pick and choose from, there can be a hundred different ways for that harness to be made. That equals higher cost. If every car had the better infotainment system and nav, then there would only be one screen to supply the assembly line with and one software to install. Just a couple of examples.
    So, the current way of selling cars puts a lot of people in the predicament of "do I pay the extra $3k for these options that I really can't afford or do I sacrifice the safety of me and my occupants".

  24. I would like to keep the distance, but if I do someone else will fill that space anyway making me fall further back in the lane.

  25. Everyone needs adaptive cruise control in there life. My new car has it and it changed my life. But it’s true don’t follow others to close or you will break harder making the snake effect.

  26. That is why you should look 2 or 3 cars ahead – provided a truck or tool in a big car is not in front of you. Drive based on their movement and not just the car in front of you.

  27. All she described was the butterfly effect and how to stop it. If there's a crash and three lanes go into one, PF COURSE THERES GONNA BE TRAFFIC. If you live in England, THERES A CRASH EVERYDAY.

  28. We are not robots. And you don't need mathematical models to prove this. You know, they don't just randomly build roads and put on road signs. There are there for a reason. The lights don't randomly go green and red whenever they want to. Everything is build the way it is for smooth traffic.

  29. How am I driving wrong, as the title suggests, when the video mentions how it's because people behind me are driving too close to my car? Is that a clickbate title because that doesn't make sense when taken in context with what the video covers.

  30. Beginning of the video – "you can't control the person behind you". End of the video – "install a radar sensor in the rear to help fix traffic" What are you talking about Seeker?

  31. The sensor on the rear is all that's needed to the arsehole behind you they're to close, even when you're doing 80 on the clock..

  32. I'm surprised it's not more common knowledge. Even when I first started driving, I always just took my foot off the pedals when in line for a stop sign. By the time I'd approach the vehicle in front of me, they'd move forward a full car length and then stop. Meanwhile I wouldn't touch my brake until I approached the stop sign myself. Easy and efficient!

  33. Can you make a video on cats being deactivated, What actually happens to them and why they lay like they dead. C'mon please.
    Here is 1 video link. But there are hundreds of videos out there.

  34. Increasing density because of driving habits is one thing. But even if computers drove cars perfectly for best traffic flow it's not going to be able to stop car density from piling from new cars merging into the limited space of the freeway.

  35. I been a person who always considers the person behind me, not to prevent traffic, but to make sure they dont collide w me if they are not paying attention.  I have noticed, that people slam their breaks not caring of what it does to the person behind them.  Usually, the person slamming their breaks is a slow driver.  Slow drivers cause fast drivers to go around it, and shortening the distances for other drivers, those of which are slow drivers will slam their breaks and cause traffic to those behind it, causing other fast drivers to have to go around it and shorten distances again, cycle repeats.  I have never seen a fast driver react the same way the slow driver does.  There is your answer.  We can all drive as a colony, but its the slow drivers that do not want to participate and cause traffic and accidents.

  36. stop comparing cars to ants, ants dont have to worry about other ants lightly bumping into them and pursue to sue you for the damage and "neck" injury you caused.

  37. I'm about to watch the video but what I discovered from living in Louisville Kentucky for 3 years. If the Speed Limit during Rush Hour traffic on the Freeway was changed from 65-70 mph (depending on where you live) to 30-35 mph traffic would flow smoothly and we would get to work 5-20 minutes early depending on where your work is in comparison to where you live. EVERY DAY Mon-Thur there was an accident on the freeway in Louisville. When you would hit spots where the speed made it to 50 during the accident event, it would take me 60 minutes to travel 1-2 miles. But if everyone was traveling around 30 mph during the accident event, it only took us 10 minutes to get through the accident area because traffic was steady. Although I'm one of those people who goes the speed limit during construction areas where there are NO workers present at the time aka "Off Shift", I also noticed if there were cars present in front of me, we made it through the construction area faster if we were all traveling 30-35 instead of the reduced speed of 55-60. With this observation I also noticed that during the times when Road Workers were present, if everyone traveled at 30-35 the traffic flowed smoothly but if we were going the top reduced speed posted it took 2-4 times longer. An additional benefit of this deduction, if we lower the Road Construction speeds to 30 mph instead of 60 mph, we would save lives and Families would never have to morn the loss of a parent who works construction being hit by a driver not watching what they're doing.

  38. Who did this study is WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!! If every car stayed the same distance behind and in front of the next car, the traffic line would be larger than the city. I'm going to have to track them down and correct their model.

  39. This is SOOOOOO stupid. The distance in front of you IS the distance behind the car ahead of you and they don't control that, you do. Someone has misinterpreted the data.

  40. Thanks! I would describe an emergent property as one which arises from smaller things, but is more than the simple sum of their parts, & often represents an entirely new level of phenomena, which necessitates treating those parts in a novel way – as though they possessed properties they normally don't individually. Well, I gave it a shot! Thanks again. 𝓡𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲 𝓣𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲.

  41. On a separate note, I don't see that "looking back" (by self-driving cars) would make any difference. You certainly can't program a car to speed up to avoid a car on its tail! You can only program it not to tailgate. Thus looking back would only be of use if your car could signal the one behind it to slow down. Since – presumably – that would only work if said tailgater was also a self-driving car, the point becomes moot, because that trailing vehicle wouldn't be doing that in the first place! Whew! That was confusing. Thanks again. 𝓡𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲 𝓣𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲.

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