More than 1,000 people in Japan spent Thursday night stuck on a highway in their cars, waiting out a traffic jam with little food or water during a heavy snowstorm.
The jam began after a car got stuck in deep snow in the middle of the highway, grinding traffic to a halt, according to the Nippon Expressway Company (NEXCO), the country's highway operator.
Traffic built up on the stalled highway; at its peak on Thursday night, the jam stretched to 9.3 miles, NEXCO told CNN. Some segments of the long traffic line were able to move slowly with starts and stops, but some motorists remained stuck in place for more than 40 hours.
The jam continued through Friday; the lanes coming from Tokyo eventually cleared, but the lanes heading into the capital were still halted. As of noon on Friday, there were still 1,000 cars stuck.
A solid reminder that whatever traffic you're stuck in this holiday season, it could always be worse? Eh?
Even those 40+ hours in Japan seem like child's play after looking at Hot Cars' list of the top 10 worst jams of all time. Among them, a 12-day, 62 mile hold up on China's Beijing-Tibet highway back in 2010 that would have had me Thelma & Louise-ing myself. During the long wait people were robbed in their cars at night & one guy was even stabbed... It became the wild West of backups.
The worst I can think of that I've ever been stuck in was passing through Los Angeles on my way from San Diego to Yosemite one Thanksgiving break. I left at the worst possible time & hit LA right at rush hour on a holiday eve, where I proceeded to sit with my car in park on the infamous I-5 for what felt like an eternity. My wonky 2000 Hyundai Sonata with no heat, windows that didn't go down & no radio didn't help matters much. This wasn't the same year, but it looked an awful lot like this: