A Question on Stoplights

Consider stopping at a traffic light: the normal way of things is that all the cars are packed tightly together. Decorum decrees that one waits for the car ahead to accelerate at a green light, lest accidents occur. But is that really necessary? What if instead, the cars left somewhere between a half and a full car length between them so that they could all accelerate at a green light (and still have enough time to slow down/stop if they accelerate too quickly)? Is this efficient or not? Is there any change in traffic flow?

My thinking is that in long lines, to have every car accelerate at the (almost) same time would yield faster traffic flow, but perhaps that’s misguided. But I’m thinking of doing a simple study of the idea, just to see what happens.

Happy weekend!

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