I flew into Shanghai last year and got picked up at the airport for the 3 hour drive to Hangzhou. We proceeded to travel at great velocity across the dark rainy night on the highway.
About halfway there was a truck on fire (full of recycled cartons crushed in cubes). The driver must have thrown a smoke out the window or something.
After that we nearly crashed into one of those blue farm trucks, one 1 or two cylinder ones driving along the highway. Of course without a light on, probably to save battery life or just didn't have one!
The traffic is getting worse, heaps more cars when I first went in '03.
One highlight earlier in the year was in Hangzhou now the buses stop at crossings. Though I would NEVER walk out in front of one even though this is now regulation. Of course it was because last year many people were killed by out of control buses.
Things won't change in the near future for China unless there is a crackdown but generally that wont happen or ineffective.