Here are three proven ways to help yourself shorten your ride should you encounter road closures, barricades due to road construction, local events, accidents (which always seem to go hand-in-hand with lookie-loos) and other traffic delays.
#1: Check for Road Conditions Ahead of Time
If the road you normally travel on is closed due to road construction, natural disasters, or local events, you typically won’t know it until you’ve already begun your commute. But there are ways to check the status of a roadway and predict the possible delays before getting behind the wheel of your car.
Apps such as Waze (available on iOS and Android) let you check the status of a specific highway or street via information they receive from fellow users as well as the Arizona Department of Transportation. Putting a call into 511 will also inform you of any traffic delays due to accidents, construction, events, etc.
#2: Get a Heads-Up While in Commute
Few things are more frustrating than coming to a complete halt on your way home from a long day at work and being helpless to do anything about it until an exit appears or traffic clears. This is where those smartphones of ours can really come in handy.
Using the same sources listed in Tip #1, you can use your smartphone to check the status of the road ahead of you, while you’re driving. Simply place your phone in a hands-free mount and be alerted by fellow drivers before you approach police, accidents, road closures or those dreaded traffic jams.
#3: Put Plan B (or C) into Action to Get Ahead
In dire situations, when the roadway before you promises hour-plus delays, consider putting a plan b (or c) into action. I can’t stress the importance of this tip enough – as it really pays to plan alternative routes. These routes will allow you to take another road or highway to arrive home with your sanity intact.
Take for example: my go-to choice when traveling along Loop 101 is to jump onto the frontage road until I see traffic moving smoothly again. Some of the best ways to know if your alternative plan will shorten your ride is to travel them yourself, ask friends and family, and use smartphone apps.