Why do traffic jams happen on Malaysian highways

traffic jam in malaysia

Many of us think that traffic jams are caused due to the number of cars on the road and such. But scientifically, it’s not. Below are step by step guidance for you on how usually traffic jams happen in Msia.

1. Traffic is rolling at about 100km/h and when someone slows down to 80km/h. In this example, the drive of Car B slows down to avoid hitting Car A

fast traffic malaysia


2. The following driver then slows down as well to 60km/h to keep a safe distance between Car A and Car B

avoiding accidents


3. The drivers on the back sees them brake lights and also slow down probably to 40km/h

brake lights


4. The “pattern” continues and more drivers hit their brakes until the traffic comes to a crawl

traffic jams


Traffic planners call this a “shockwave”. We are pretty sure that most of you have experience driving on the Malaysian freeway and out of nowhere you are forced to come to a stop or at least a crawl. You can’t really see why things are slowing down, however, when you go a little further, things are smooth sailing once again.

On the other side, rush hour traffic is a whole different story. You can relate a rush hour traffic to the “funnel effect”. 

Just the right amount of water can go through as fast as it’s put in the funnel. But adding extra water to the funnel, will definitely cause an overflow

funnel effect


Source: The Plain Dealer