Thanks to technology, holiday highway traffic jams are gone!
As I mentioned in the last post, this past weekend was Chuseok, the biggest holiday season in Korea. It’s kind of like Thanksgiving, where families traditionally gather together to celebrate the harvest and have a good time together.
But, every fall, people get really scared of one thing: the traffic jam during the holiday season. Nearly a quarter of the entire Korean population gets on the road to visit their (grand-)parents. Some people literally drive for 20 hours straight to get back to Seoul from Busan, which is only about 300 miles (or less than 500 km). You can probably tell how dreadful the holiday season can be for many drivers, who are mostly dads.
The situation was expected only to be worse this year. This Chuseok season was particularly short because it was set across a weekend. Chuseok is typically about 5 days long, but this year it was only 3 days long. Last year there were about 3.28 million cars on the road; this year 3.64 mil. Imagine 11% more cars on the road in 2 less days. That’s some crazy concentrated traffic.
And the result? About 2-4 hours less spent on the road than last year. All the more, during the peak congestions, drivers ended up spending 5-6 hours less on the road. Basically, people are surprised that it didn’t resemble anything that they were fearing.
How was this made possible? Are there some kind of telepathic activities among drivers to let them know when to leave and what routes to take and stuff?
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