Anyone who has ever traveled on any of the major highways in North America has experienced a traffic jam at one point or another. Traffic slowdowns cause frustration and leave us speculating about what’s causing them and how long we will be held up. Often, we find that the traffic suddenly clears and we see a stalled vehicle, an accident, a lane closure, or it becomes obvious tat it’s due to a merge with another major highway. Occasionally, we see that these traffic jams are caused by objects on the highway like fragmented truck tires or car bumpers that have fallen off.
The motorist with the dash cam has spent the past 10 minutes in stop and go traffic on Highway # 401, the largest highway in Canada. Also known as the Trans Canada Highway, it stretches 511 miles (823km) from Windsor to the border of Ontario and Quebec. This section near Toronto is 5 lanes wide in either direction. As the traffic cleared, it turned out to be a large extension ladder that had caused the chaos. It’s likely that the ladder fell off of a moving truck, unbeknownst to the owner. Objects like this can easily cause traffic to slow as drivers swerve and change lanes to avoid it, and they can also cause accidents. In this case, there was no accident yet, but removing this ladder from the middle lane would be nearly impossible without shutting a few lanes of the highway down momentarily.
Seeing something so unexpected on the highway leaves a person wondering how it got there, how the owner didn’t notice it falling out, and how the motorists behind were able to avoid a collision. It’s a very lucky thing that it didn’t come to a stop spreading out sideways across several lanes or an accident would have been much more likely.