Dangerous traffic jams set to multiply, experts warn

Road traffic experts have warned motorists today that “dangerous” traffic congestion on many roads is set to multiply over the weekend.

It is thought that hazardous tailbacks will be caused on many of Britain’s roads due to drivers flocking towards the UK’s major airports in order to enjoy some much-needed sunshine abroad over the half term week.

The AA have issued an official warning to all road users to be extra vigilant when stuck in traffic, as they have proven unexpectedly dangerous on numerous occasions. Peter Ian, an expert in traffic shapes, said yesterday: “Slow-moving or stationary traffic is more hazardous than many people expect, as it requires a lot more focus and concentration to drive at a constantly slow speed. A driver in slow traffic has to adopt a more forward-leaning position with their head resting upon their folded arms just above the steering wheel. This is to aid them in judging the gap between their car and the car in front so that they do not waste unnecessary road space.

“Another difficulty is that drivers are forced to maintain the ‘bite’ for long periods of time, which can cause serious cramps in their lower legs. The handbrake is useful for alleviating the tension now and again, but the problem is the driver has to be extra-vigilant in these circumstances. No-one wants to lose vital seconds and be left standing as other cars slowly surge ahead, leaving visible road in front that person’s car. It can be extremely distressing for a driver – particularly if they have family in their car – if other members of the jam appear to be ‘getting away’, so for that reason we would only recommend using the handbrake if you’re definite that the jam won’t be moving for some time.”

No-one knows exactly what causes traffic jams, as they do not appear on paper to be logically possible. With enough co-operation and common sense between road users, congestion should statistically never occur. Some experts lay the blame at old drivers, saying that they drive at much slower speeds than normal road users and can often experience confusion when changing lanes, overcoming roundabouts or making turns into other roads.

Others believe that temporary traffic lights employed by overzealous road workers are the cause of high traffic volumes because many aren’t capable of operating the complicated switch correctly, leaving frustrated motorists fuming. Some roadworkers attempt to overcome this by using the outdated STOP/GO double-sided circular signs, but this can provide more annoyance among drivers as the designated operators are often unable to determine this system’s logic and end up mirroring one another’s signs. The other problem is that roadworkers tend to abandon projects when they become too complicated, leaving vast stretches of publicly-owned roadways completely unusable. Third party contractors then have to be employed at further cost to patch up the holes left in the tarmac before clearing the traffic cones and warning signs left behind so that motorists are able to continue their journeys unhindered.

Police, meanwhile, are urging motorists not to use the roads over the weekend “unless absolutely imperative”.


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