Traffic Jams

Model Description

A turtle model to explore vehicular traffic patterns

Original Rules

1) If there is a car close ahead of you, slow down

2) If there are no cars close ahead of you, speed up (unless you are already moving at the speed limit)

3) If you see a radar trap, slow down


  • The traffic jam (at the radar trap, stop light, accident, etc.) acts as a traffic regulator - once the cars accelerate from the jam, they travel at equal distances and speed
    • see Traffic Lights
  • Phantom traffic jams - they still happen without a traffic light! And the traffic jam "moves" in the opposite direction of the flow of traffic
    • see Ring Road (density < 25 = none; density > 50 = jams)

Examples (outside NetLogo)


  • The study of actual traffic controls (speed limits, stop lights, on ramps, etc.)
  • The study of other wavelike phenomena (oceans, sound waves, earthquakes, etc.)


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