We discuss a microscopic model for the study of multi-lane highway traffic flow dynamics. Each car experiences a force resulting from a combination of the desire of the driver to attain a certain velocity, aerodynamic drag, and change of the force due to car–car interactions. The model also includes multi-lane simulation capability and the ability to add and remove obstructions. We implement the model via a Java applet, which is used to simulate traffic jam formation, the effect of bottlenecks on traffic flow, and the existence of light, medium, and heavy traffic flow. The simulations also provide insight into how the properties of individual cars result in macroscopic behavior. Because the investigation of emergent characteristics is so common in physics, the study of traffic in this manner sheds new light on how the micro-to-macro transition works in general. © 2003 American Association of Physics Teachers.