Wow, I was right; these things ARE caused by morons!
So you’re driving along at the speed limit on three lanes going your way until (Oh Noes!) a row of brake lights suddenly flares ahead. Traffic is dropping to a crawl and slowing, so something MUST be happening up ahead (accident? ladder in road? car-B-Q?). Then, after spending twenty minutes trying to figure out which lane is actually moving, traffic starts mysteriously moving again, with nary an emergency vehicle or burning car in site.
You just experienced a phantom gridlock, or what MIT has dubbed a “jamiton.”
Now, while they’re spending millions trying to figure out why and how to prevent them, I can save them the cash right here. “Morons” are the cause, people who probably shouldn’t be driving to begin with. You’ve seen them talking on phones, applying makeup, reading the paper, fighting with passengers, and trying to see over the steering wheel of their vehicle.
The formula couldn’t be more simple. To cause a so-called jamiton, all you need is one Moron driver for every lane traveling in the same direction to meet along a parallel line and simultaneously drop below the speed limit in any area where cars are already in a hurry. Everyone else who is actually driving will attempt to let these idiots know they aren’t the only people on the road, all the while tailgating and beeping their horn. As more vehicles catch up to the Morons, the wave will continue backwards as long as their is at least one car approaching in every lane.
Clear as mud, right? And the solution is even simpler: make Morons take the bus and leave the driving to the ones up to the task.