Avoid Traffic Congestion for a Smooth Ride

I live in Phoenix and during rush hour my two daily commutes last roughly forty-five minutes to an hour each.  When I’m lucky enough to miss rush hour all together, however, my commute lasts just under thirty minutes.  And, boy let me tell you, I love missing rush hour!  Who wouldn’t?

Over many months and let’s be honest, much frustration, as I sat in my vehicle waiting for traffic to clear up, yet again, I realized there had to be a better way.  There had to be other ways, better ways, to detect and subsequently avoid traffic congestion rather than just waiting for the radio station’s “traffic report”.

Why had my research intuitive mind never realized it before?  Once my brain became sensitized to finding inventive ways to avoid traffic congestion, I started to find a variety of interesting traffic detection software, websites and apps.  Most of which worked pretty well when put to the test.

By using one, or a combination, of the following methods to avoid traffic congestion you’ll be assured a smooth ride as you bypass the pitfalls associated with rush hour traffic.

Map out Alternative Routes

I can’t stress this enough!  One of the best, and quite frankly, the easiest methods for ensuring you’re able to avoid traffic congestion is to simply map out alternative routes.  And, while two will suffice, it is ideal to map out a few more than that.  So that you can better imagine alternating your route, here is an example:

On any given day, I must travel down Interstate 10 to arrive home, which as we all know is notorious for traffic congestion.   But by alternating my route by just a few blocks, so that I get on and off on a different exit, I’m able to effectively shave time off of my commute.  My advice for finding alternative routes includes:

  • Asking your friends, and/or co-workers, if they know of any shortcuts you could use to shorten your ride.
  • Review online and offline maps to explore routes.  Online maps, including those on your smartphones, will generally provide you with an estimated time of arrival.

Play With Your Timing

If it seems like your always stuck driving in rush hour traffic, like me, you may want to consider speaking with your boss about tweaking your time just a little bit.  Starting a half hour later could help you avoid traffic congestion all together.

Listen to Traffic Reports

Traffic reports are broadcast on virtually every radio station a few times per hour during rush hour.  It pays to continue listening to these reports for the duration of your ride so as to ensure you don’t get stuck behind a traffic accident later on down the road.

Get Traffic Information on Your Phone

Using apps, such as Waze, allows you to get status updates from other drivers advising you of any negative traffic conditions before leaving your location – please steer away from using this or any other app while on the road.

These apps can provide you turn-by-turn directions, traffic speed information, see information on accidents, street closures or police barricades – all of which is provided by other users, first respondents, fleet operators and local transportation departments.

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Have Road Rage? Learn How to Suppress It…

{Source: Wikipedia}

{Source: Wikipedia}

I’ve never really understood it – I’m really a sweetheart by nature – but unfortunately Arizona’s traffic just really makes my skin crawl.

But, I’m not alone!

I’m sure many of you are thinking the same thing.  Why does an entire highway – one with 4 or more lanes, I might add – have to literally slow to a crawl because of lookie-loos’?

Sometimes’ for no apparent reason whatsoever!

With more and more drivers on the road, than in the past decade or so, our highways have been becoming increasingly crowded.  So much so that many of our commute times have nearly doubled.

When we sit inside our vehicles – frustrated with traffic – we’re sometimes just not as polite as we should be.

It’s when traffic is bumper to bumper, a driver is speeding, or we feel rushed that we tend to tailgate, make impolite gestures, change lanes without signaling (I for one see this a LOT), and/or honk the horn at the car in front of us, etc.

Sound familiar?

According to a recent study – completed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – 60 percent of the drivers surveyed consider this type of driving a threat to their health and safety.

And, there’s a name for it – AGGRESSIVE DRIVING.

Aggressive driving is defined by “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” {Source: NHTSA}

Aggressive driving can escalate into road rage which puts all drivers at risk due to the increased risk of a car accident.

Those that experience road rage, according to WebMD, may be facing increased stress, tension, fatigue, or anger in their daily lives.

For the purpose of this blog, we’re going to discuss some of the techniques you can do to remain a courteous and defensive driver, by suppressing road rage.

Together, we can make our highways a safer place, for all drivers.  If you would like more information on how we at Action Barricade can help please call 602-288-6350.

Take Deep Calming Breathes

By practicing the art, of taking deep calming breathes, you can help reduce your anxiety and stress.  In fact, according to The American Institute of Stress, deep breathing will increase the amount of blood in your blood as well as release tension.

Focusing on your breathing for 20 to 30 minutes per day (what a coincidence that you just happen to spend this time in your vehicle) makes it easy for you to remain focused on staying calm and relaxed without needing to take your eyes off the road.

Listen to Music

Listening to music is, in fact, one of the things I personally do to remain calm when I’m stuck in traffic.  You can also listen to audio-books.  I do, however, recommend avoid any violent music or audio-books (just to be safe).

Organize Your Schedule

One of the best ideas I ran across during my research, was the idea of organizing (or reorganizing if need be) our schedules, in order to avoid the stress that comes with feeling rushed.

Managing your time wisely, planning for traffic, or leaving early allows you to feel a more relaxed because you won’t really be in such a rush.

Count to 10

Counting to 10, or 20, or whatever number it takes to accept that your trip is going to take an undetermined amount of time longer due to traffic.  Counting is basically one of the many cognitive-behavioral intervention tools you can do to alleviate some of your everyday stress.