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How to Avoid the Worst of Traffic Jams

Updated on June 26, 2014

If you live in a highly urbanized area or a big city like Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago, no doubt you have had to deal with the qualms of traffic jams and how they can affect the drive time and sanity of your day to day commute. Few things in life are worse than sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, moving a few inches at a time and seeing the huge line of cars ahead of you with no end in sight. Traffic jams and gridlock is responsible for many incidents involving road rage and there have even been incidents resulting in death because of drivers getting into fights with each other. The commute to and front work is most congested about a half-hour before and after the work day starts and ends; what takes you 15 minutes on the freeway at midnight will take you 45 minutes during the worst part of rush hour when you're going 20mph per hour in stop and go traffic.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid that rush hour traffic and bring a little bit of sanity back into your life to keep that angry road rage in check:

Alternative Mode of Travel

Try and utilize public transportation if you can, as taking the subway, metro, or bus can save you time, money, and energy. Even if you drive a really luxurious car, leave it at home and just take the train. You would be able to keep that luxury car of yours in pristine condition by not taking it out so often and having it sit in bumper to bumper traffic everyday of the week. You can even utilize the time spent on the subway to catch up on your morning routine, daily news, social media, and even a few extra minutes of sleep. Use some of the money you saved to buy some new add-ons for your car. If you car still has the incandescent stock factory lights, a month of using public transportation and saving up on gas could probably get your car a new LED interior kit or something. No one says that you can only be cool if you drive your luxury car to and from work and those who are under that impression are thankfully not utilizing the public transportation system so that you won't have to hear all this unnecessary preaching about taking some $60,000 car to work.

Two-Wheeled Vehicle:

No doubt that you've been trapped in bumper to bumper traffic before and a little motorcycle comes and zips by through the lanes and passes you into oblivion. You turn green with envy because you're stuck behind an SUV with a set of mattresses perched precariously on top of the rack with only a very few thin lengths of twine holding it in position. You can take advantage of that law and get yourself a motorcycle or a scooter. If you don't have a motorcycle license, you can still ride a scooter down the highway during bumper to bumper traffic.

Change Your Routine:

If you left for work 30 minutes earlier to avoid rush hour traffic, it may appear to be counterproductive, but you actually have some extra time to do other things and take care of business. You would have sat in traffic for an hour away, so you might as well leave early to avoid the worst of it so you have more time to do other things like read the news, reply to emails, and all sorts of stuff you otherwise have had to skim through extremely fast otherwise. You are actually buying yourself time because you don't have to spend any longer in traffic than you actually need to. You have all this extra time before and after work to do things that you actually want to do in the first place, not sit aimlessly in traffic and bemoan the bane of your existence.

Change Your Route:

Don't take the most obvious route that everyone else is using. Rather, try to see if you can use the side streets to bypass the worst of the traffic. If everyone else is already using the main road, see if there's some back alleys that you can drive in because those smaller streets are usually not congested at all. Use the smaller side streets to get to your destination sooner and save lots of time. You may even be able to get home faster after you get off of work because you're spending way less time sitting in the worst of the rush hour traffic.

You Can't Predict the Future

Unfortunately, things like inclement weather, accidents, and all sorts of incidences can deter you. Just because you got to work in record speed the day before doesn't mean that everyday would be an easy trip. What takes you only 20 minutes one day might take you a whole hour because of an unforeseen accident on the road.

Being stuck in traffic is definitely an inevitable part of life, but these steps to help you minimize it can help you save tons of time and energy. You can even open up your schedule a little more and be flexible once you figure out which ways of avoiding traffic work the best for you. Everyone is different so your methods should be tailored according to your personal preferences.


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