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.
❶ 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.
❷ 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.
❸ 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.
❹ 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.