On this day in auto history - August 15th

Sun 15th Aug 2021

It was on this day in 2010 that the most notorious traffic jam in recorded history first began to form on China’s National Highway 110.

Not caused by road closure or natural disaster, the infamous tailback - which measured more than 70 miles at its peak - was simply a case of over capacity on the expressway which linked a section of Inner Mongolia with Beijing.

Whilst some motorists were able to take detours, many thousands were forced to take to sleeping in their vehicles as traffic crawled at a rate of less than one mile per day.

In an effort to keep growing 'road-rage’ in check, over 400 police were drafted in to maintain order whilst a mini-industry sprang up where traffic was at a standstill with opportunistic locals able to demand exorbitant prices for food and water.

In all, the traffic jam took an incredible 12 days to fully dissipate and only did so after increased intervention from the authorities. It was later revealed that traffic volume at the time of the incident was 60% more than the road’s design capacity.