HOW STUFF WORKS
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Quiz: How Traffic Works
by Staff
Many factors can contribute to traffic congestion. How knowledgeable are you when it comes to traffic? Take this quiz and find out!

True or false? Many factors can contribute to traffic congestion, but the most basic explanation is that the number of drivers trying to use the same road is so high that it goes beyond the road's capacity to handle the cars.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

Which of the following statements is true?

  • City planners have a significant impact on how traffic congestion is addressed.
  • Civil engineers have a significant impact on how traffic congestion is addressed.
  • All of the above

True or false? A traffic wave occurs when cars slow down, and the slowing trend continues backward -- like a domino effect. As long as there are more cars approaching from behind, the traffic congestion travels in a wave.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

True or false? In general, you can divide up the contributors of traffic into two broad areas: network overload and traffic disturbances.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

True or false? If there are highways or surface streets that suffer from heavy traffic congestion, no matter what the actual road conditions might be, they fall into the category of network overload.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

True or false? Only accidents and breakdowns are considered traffic disturbances.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

True or false? According to the 2007 Urban Mobility Report from the Texas Transportation Institute, traffic incidents account for between 52 and 58 percent of the delays motorists experience [source: TTI].

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

True or false? Ramp metering ensures that cars are only allowed to enter the highway at timed intervals.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

True or false? High-occupancy vehicle lanes, or HOV lanes, are reserved for cars with a certain number of passengers (usually two or three people per car).

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

True or false? Auto-restricted zones prohibit drivers from turning at specific intersections or points on a road, channeling traffic into alternate routes.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE