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## Mathematicians Solve the Mystery of Traffic Jams629

mlimber writes "Do you ever find yourself in a traffic jam, thinking, 'Man, there must be a bad accident up ahead,' but as you plod along you see no evidence of any crash? Some mathematicians have solved the mystery by developing a mathematical model that shows how one driver hitting the brakes a little too hard can cascade into a backup miles behind. The mathematicians' future research will investigate how automatic braking systems may alleviate the problem."
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## Mathematicians Solve the Mystery of Traffic Jams

• #### Small miscalculation (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday December 21, 2007 @01:18PM (#21780864) Journal
Sure. But what they forgot to include was the variable of EVERYONE IN THE OTHER LANE STOPPING TO WATCH.
• #### Einstein (Score:4, Funny)

on Friday December 21, 2007 @01:19PM (#21780866)
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity" - Einstein

...and he was only sure about the latter.

• #### next (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday December 21, 2007 @01:23PM (#21780938)
maybe mathematicians can solve why old news appears on slashdot.
• #### Re:Not suprised (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday December 21, 2007 @01:26PM (#21780988) Homepage
I've actually gotten pretty good and figuring which jams are accident related and those that are just people being retarded.

Most accidents are also due to people being retarded.
• #### XKCD (Score:4, Funny)

on Friday December 21, 2007 @01:31PM (#21781060) Homepage Journal

:)

• #### Re:Not suprised (Score:3, Funny)

<Bhima.Pandava@g m a i l . com> on Friday December 21, 2007 @01:37PM (#21781160) Journal
Me too. I remember the last traffic jam I was in where it was just people being retarded.

It was 1960.
• #### Re:Bad drivers = traffic jams (Score:1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2007 @01:42PM (#21781224)
Probably because the exit ramp required a right turn, and all of the NASCAR fans were befuddled.
• #### Indeed (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday December 21, 2007 @01:43PM (#21781248)
Once you understand how it works, you can create traffic jams in even relatively light traffic. If you're really good, they're still there when you go home the other direction.

• #### Re:Old news (Score:2, Funny)

on Friday December 21, 2007 @01:55PM (#21781470)
I was doing that one time and while I was occupied counting the guy slammed on his brakes and I hit him. Incidentally it caused some rediculous gridlock.
• #### Obligatory Simpsons (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday December 21, 2007 @01:59PM (#21781528)
The episode where the town charter declares the smartest people to be in charge in the absensce of Mayor Quimby.

Lenny comes up with the best idea. Traffic lights only have red and yellow, no green. Traffic is speeded up immensely.
• #### Re:next (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday December 21, 2007 @02:28PM (#21782048) Homepage
They did. It starts with one editor accepting the story without checking it, and that starts a chain reaction. Dups start coming in faster than editors can check and they're all accepted.
• #### Re:Bad drivers = traffic jams (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday December 21, 2007 @02:45PM (#21782364)

If they had used their signal, I could have proceeded.
I learned in traffic school, a turn signal just means the light is working. At best they can let you know what the person might do, who hasn't left a turn signal on for a few blocks?
• #### Re:Bad drivers = traffic jams (Score:2, Funny)

on Friday December 21, 2007 @03:16PM (#21782750) Homepage

If a national speed limit was set at 25 mph (and strictly enforced) then the number of traffic fatalities would almost certainly drop dramatically - not because of reduced frequency of accidents but because the accidents that did occur would be less severe.
Yes, but hand gun deaths would make a sharp rise.

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