//“Phantom Traffic Jams” and Truck Safety

“Phantom Traffic Jams” and Truck Safety

PLEASANT, Texas. If the phrase “phantom traffic jam” brings to mind ghost stories, keep reading. Phantom traffic jams are a unique horror all their own. You’ve experienced it. You’re driving and traffic is moving along at a reasonable clip. Then, for no reason at all, traffic just stops. You imagine a crash up ahead or construction, but there’s nothing—just the traffic jam.

Traffic jam in Los Angeles

According to Live Science, there’s a very real scientific reason why phantom traffic jams take place. These traffic jams are formed when a vehicle slows down just a little bit, causing other vehicles behind it to slow down, which requires other vehicles to slow down, and so on. At some point, the slowdown reaches a peak, where the cars are stopped completely. How can trucks figure into this? In traffic, trucks generally drive slower than surrounding traffic. This can lead to other cars around them adjusting their speeds.

However, there is a solution. If a driver could theoretically keep an even pace behind the vehicle in front, the flow of traffic could remain consistent. Researchers think that autonomous vehicles may be able to make this possible. According to Wired, human drivers are more likely to hit their breaks harder than they need to or slow down more than they may need to. An autonomous vehicle can do the math and slow down only as much as is needed and hit the brakes only as hard as is necessary, thus reducing traffic and the risk of deadly and dangerous accidents they cause.

According to Wired, autonomous vehicles can also drive more smoothly than human drivers who may be more likely to start and stop. In fact, a recent study found that if just one car was automated, that it could prevent some of the worst phantom traffic jams.

This is good news for truckers and for drivers in general. Trucks move more slowly than traffic in general, but if we can have a future where trucks are automated, trucks may be less likely to contribute to stop and go traffic. Moreover, automated trucks could prevent the real injury risk that occurs when a truck stops suddenly in traffic. Additionally, if all cars were automated, there’d likely be less of a risk of rear-end collisions, which often occur due to driver distraction, error, or speeding.

Yet, the technology is still a long way away from being available to the general public. While autonomous technology is being tested, you can’t just go out and buy a fully automated truck or car. Truck drivers need to show care.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, you may have rights. The Cooper Law Firm are truck accident attorneys in Mt. Pleasant, Texas who may be able to help you seek damages if a truck driver stopped suddenly or rear-ended your vehicle. The risk of crashes in heavy traffic is real. The Cooper Law Firm protects the rights of victims who have been hurt due to crashes in heavy traffic.

 

Cooper Law Firm

501 N Third St,

Longview, TX 75601

Telephone: (903) 297-0037

By |2018-05-18T18:28:53+00:00May 18th, 2018|Accidents|0 Comments

About the Author:

N. Eric Cooper graduated from Baylor Law School in 2002. Following graduation he was sought after by several firms, but decided to accept a position with Brown McCarroll, LLP’s Longview office. Eric chose this office because of the lifestyle offered by Longview and the surrounding East Texas area.
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