04 May, 2006

UAE needs more good citizens

Link: The Science of Traffic Jams - Yahoo! News

Quote:
"If everyone would be good citizens and move over when the signs tell you to, traffic would move more quickly," said Davis, a physicist at the University of Michigan. "It's the science of complexity. In large group dynamics special things happen because each individual is trying to maximize their own benefit."

In America, selfish steering costs about $100 billion a year—from wasted time and fuel....

When a car in front does something unusual, drivers often respond by hitting the brakes. That in turn makes the next driver brake. Soon, a wave of commuters are flashing red brake lights.

Humans typically take 3/4 of a second to slam on the brake pedal. Talking on a cell phone can slow response time even more. The delayed reaction creates instability in an otherwise steady stream of traffic.
. . .
Physicists tend to think of the build-up of traffic like water turning to ice.

Smooth traffic moves freely like water. When water freezes and turns to ice, it requires more energy, in the form of heat, to melt back into water. Similarly, it takes more time and work to get gridlock [un]going again.
There is a lot of "unusual" driving in the UAE. If we all got less creative, we'd all get to our destination quicker. But what if everyone followed my advice? Then I could drive like a wildman and get there before any of you.

My advice, if you want to get ahead? -- don't follow this advice from Dr. Davis:
-Look past the car in front of you to anticipate what's coming up ahead.
-Act altruistically. When people are trying to merge from an on ramp, slow down and let them merge in front of you.
-Don't procrastinate. If highway construction shuts down lanes, merge early on before the lane closure.
A lot of drivers in the UAE seem to be following my advice.

3 comments:

gary garo said...

what do you mean by"unusual driving"? i don't get it.

archer14 said...

-Look past the car in front of you to anticipate what's coming up ahead. // I wish I was a giraffe. Or had x-ray vision to see through 2 layers of heavily tinted glass//

-Act altruistically. When people are trying to merge from an on ramp, slow down and let them merge in front of you. //Yeah I do that, only to find that the merging goes on and on and now it's my turn to beg//

-Don't procrastinate. If highway construction shuts down lanes, merge early on before the lane closure.
// that kind of merging is often met by begging with the indicator followed by 3 loud horns. //

nzm said...

Don't procrastinate. If highway construction shuts down lanes, merge early on before the lane closure.

That would be fine if there was actually some advanced warning about lane closures. Usually the first indication that you get is a man waving a red flag as he stands in the road between the 1st and 2nd traffic cones.

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