A Traffic Jam That Lasted Ten Days

traffic jam

Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • traffic jam: the loss of vehicle flow on a roadway
  • congestion: heavy traffic that prevents vehicles from moving quickly
  • rely on: to require help from others
  • haul: to carry a heavy load
  • expressway: highway; roadway where vehicles are permitted to drive quickly for long distance driving
  • volume: a large amount of something
  • breakdown: a vehicle failure

A Traffic Jam That Lasted Ten Days

One of the worst recorded traffic jams in history took place on a highway west of Beijing in August, 2010. The congestion for over ten days, and involved at least 10,000 vehicles. Some drivers were trapped for days, and relied on cyclists and pedlars for food and water. The goods were sold at prices, creating a mini-economy for nearby residents. The congestion was caused by an number of trucks on the road, including road construction vehicles and trucks hauling from Mongolia. Breakdowns added to the volume, turning the expressway into a parking lot.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where was the traffic jam?
  2. How did local residents make money during the traffic jam?
  3. What was the main cause of the congestion?

Discussion Questions: What are some of the main reasons that people get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic? What should motorists have in their vehicles in case of situations like this?

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