12 Tips for dealing with traffic jam
Nothing frustrates than getting stuck in unexpected massive traffic jam as it ruins an otherwise perfect day and dismantles all planned events. You can however avoid most congestion by following the simple guidelines below.
- Taking alternative routes
One of the ways to know the routes with traffic jam is by listening to traffic reports before you set out for the day. Radio stations and local television news programs often give traffic reports to help commuters know what is going on in the major highways. If you tune into these before you get in the car and realize there is a traffic jam in the route you were about to take, you may consider taking an alternative route or a side street.
Proper planning can keep you from having to deal with heavy traffic all together. Knowledge of a few variables like weather, road construction, events of the day will really help you escape heavy traffic jam. Poor weather conditions like snow, rain and fog can lead to backups while knowledge of the areas with road construction will help you avoid them, keeping your trip shorter and more enjoyable. On the other hand, events like festivals, game days, holiday parades among others can cause heavier than normal traffic.
3. Put your GPS to work
Many GPS systems have built-in traffic flow monitoring. These can alert you when a route is affected by a traffic jam. Some can even automatically change your route to a clearer one. Check the instructions for your model to see what capabilities it has, and how to set up the traffic monitoring features.
4. Avoid rush hour.
Planning against rush hour will lead to a much enjoyable commute. The early morning and late afternoon hours are the worst traffic times in most locations, because that is when most people are on the road commuting to and from work or school. If at all possible, avoid driving during these times. Leaving just a little bit earlier or later can help you steer clear of tailgating traffic.
5. Use traffic apps.
The navigation tools built into most smartphones have the ability to detect traffic problems, much like dedicated GPS devices. There are also apps like Waze that you can install and use to help avoid traffic jams. Traffic apps may have special features like real time camera feeds to view traffic conditions, or social features to help you connect with other drivers and learn about various routes. If you have to use your phone to help avoid traffic jams, be sure not to check it while you are actually driving.
6. Make the most of public transportation.
There are real benefits to public transportation, including decreased traffic overall. For you as an individual, it can be a solution for avoiding traffic jams. Modes like rail and subways bypass roads altogether. Even bus routes are usually planned to get people where they need to go efficiently. Sit back, relax, and let someone else do the driving! You can even have a nap on the journey if you wish, and unlike an ordinary car driver, buses are permitted to use bus lanes which are far less congested than other lanes reserved for other traffic.
7. Remove Distractions
It seems obvious, but it still needs to be stated that no one should ever text and drive. Stay focused on the road at all times. This is even more important when driving in heavy traffic. Just because you’re moving slower doesn’t mean there is no movement. The average text message takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. With a lot of other cars on the road, this small amount of time is enough to increase traffic jam. Avoid sending texts, checking emails and even changing radio stations when in traffic. If you do have to send a text or make a call, get off the road first to avoid building more jam or even causing accidents.
8. Stay Cool
The worst thing you can do while driving in traffic is lose your patience and get angry. Getting angry on the road can lead to aggressive and irresponsible driving, putting everyone on the road in danger. You can help yourself getting calm by listen to a cool music, having an an audio book playing, listening to a podcast that calms you downor reading a novel if you are a passenger.
9. Ask to change shifts at work if possible.
If you work during the day and have to drive, you still might be able to avoid rush hour. Ask your supervisor if you can change shifts so that you come in and leave earlier and later to beat the rush-hour traffic. A more involved change is to work from home, but some employers are open to this idea. Even if you can work from home only one day a week, that means a little less time spent waiting in traffic jams.
10.Take a Break if Necessary
If you feel yourself getting anxious, angry, or impatient, take a break. Pull off at an exit and stretch your legs and take a few deep breaths. The extra minute or two you take will make a world of a difference.
11. Use Indicators
At times it seems like many drivers don’t use signals on the roads. When there are lots of other drivers around, it’s important you let them know what you’re doing. While you shouldn’t be weaving in and out of lanes, sometimes you do have to get over. Letting people know what you’re doing is not only safe, but will also make it easier for you when a driver lets you in front of them.
12. Enjoy the freedom of two feet or wheels.
If you only have to travel a fairly short distance, try not to drive at all. If it’s a walkable distance, there’s no need to get stuck behind the wheel. You can also try cycling, especially if there are dedicated cycle lanes in your area. This can be more direct, enjoyable and is healthier than driving. Walking and cycling are great choices for your health: you can lose weight, get exercise, and do your bit to help save the environment. In some locations, motorcycles and scooters are allowed to drive between lanes of traffic. If this is allowed in your area, this can be another option for escaping a traffic jam.