A motorway tailback - particularly one you can't see an end to - is one of the most infuriating experiences in modern motoring. And it's especially annoying when you reach the end of the tailback only to find that there was no apparent reason for it.
That is of course not the case - there's always a reason. And, believe it or not, there's every chance you've contributed to a tailback or two in the past.
In our 'Britain's worst roads for traffic' feature we touched on the 'domino effect' caused by brake tapping. To recap, traffic data provider Trafficlink told us that this happens when drivers travel "too close together or [react] before reading the road ahead." The result is that "one person touches their brakes, then someone behind who may not be watching any further ahead than the bumper in front touches theirs."
Every driver in the queue has to use their brakes a little more than the car in front, which in a long line of cars driving close together means that eventually a car will have to stop. This is a common phenomenon.
To most drivers the solution is obvious: back away from the car in front. But sometimes it's not that simple.
Here's what Andrew Howard, Head of Road Safety at the AA, has to say on the matter:
"The most important thing is to keep paying attention. People often find themselves driving along in the wrong lane or drifting down to 50-60mph because their mind isn't on the job."
"Always signal [to tell other drivers] what you're doing, and anticipate ahead of yourself. If you see that 'oh no, there's going to be a snarl up' further up the road, you've got more time to deal with it if you're looking well ahead."
Have a little patience
"Think 'we're all in this together' and be prepared to lose a little time in order for traffic to flow. It might seem like an eternity being stuck behind a lorry overtaking another, but it isn't. That's not the time to crawl into the third lane, holding that one up as well."
Rubbernecking is when a driver slows down to look at an accident or incident happening on the roadside. This causes them to slow down, or worse, brake to have a good look, causing a tailback. It only takes one person.