The World’s Longest Traffic Jam Happened In China

 | Grace Higgins

If you are not a car enthusiast then maybe you did not know that China has a huge automotive market, mostly caused by the cheap manufacturing of cars made possible by cheap labor costs and generous state incentives.

Of course the extreme downside is that the number of cars in use rises rapidly with every year, filling up the public roads of China quickly. It is estimated that over 8 million cars are on the road and that is just in Beijing. With over 14 million cars being purchased every year, it does not take a mathematician to figure out that there is going to be a jam. And boy was there a big jam, a big traffic jam that is. One of the main reasons is residents just seem to love cars in China, with most people have two cars per resident.

Authorities have tried their best to slow down the buying pace of so many automobiles, in a poor attempt to reduce pollution and ease traffic. Unfortunately, their efforts are pretty much useless. Beijing drives, for example, have to leave their cars at home once per week, but still reports state Chinese drivers are in traffic jams around two to three hours per day on average.

And of course the inevitable happened, it did not really take that long, and no one really knows who to blame for the biggest traffic jam in history. August 2010 saw China feature the mother of all traffic jam, it was over 62 miles long and apparently lasted for 12 days.

On the Beijing-Tibet Expressway, which was caused by roadworks on the highway, most of the supply trucks were blocked at the exits and thus caused a traffic jam that lasted 12 whole days. No one really knows how many drivers were stranded but it is thought to have been in the hundreds of thousands, with reports claiming cars were driving as slow as 2 miles per day.