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Tips to Cope with Traffic Jam

Updated on October 1, 2011

With the increase in population of the world, various small suburban areas have slowly grown into cities with increased economies and denser population. This growth in economies and population in various places in the world has brought about various social challenges. Among all, traffic jams or traffic congestion has grown to become part and parcel of the lives of many, especially those living or working in the big cities such as Tokyo, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Bangkok, Moscow, Shanghai and Mumbai.

What is Traffic Jam?

Traffic jam is said to happen when we travel on the road with a much slower speeds than we could possibly have, taking a longer time waiting in lines and lines of motor vehicles, bumper-to-bumper in order to get from one place to another. This happens as a result of a condition where the traffic demand is higher than the roads could possibly handle. At times, the vehicles travel very slowly, while other times the vehicles could encounter frequent stoppage or even arrive at a standstill. Traffic jam could have become a norm in life to some that have coped well with it, while some still find it disturbing in terms of economically, psychologically or mentally.

How to avoid Traffic Jam?

Here are some tips we could explore to avoid a traffic jam.

  • Stay away from the traffic jam prone area

Try to stay and work at a place that is further away from the traffic jam prone area.Whenever there is a choice, opt for less popular places.

  • Know the routes well to take alternative routes

If there is no better option or if you have already settled with the area, make sure you know the available routes from location A to location B so well that you could consider taking alternative routes when there is traffic jam along the way.

  • Timing of travel

Peak hours are rush hours when everyone is rushing to reach his/her destination on time. These hours are usually tied to the time when schools or office hours starts; for example, if school starts at 7:30 A.M., the routes leading to the school would possibly heavily loaded with vehicles sending the school children to schools about 10-15 minutes before. Try to beat the traffic by leaving 30 minutes earlier instead of 5-10 minutes around 7:30 A.M. For working adults, try to start and end work at less peak hours if your company allows flexible working hours; instead of following the crowd to work from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., try to start your work at 8 A.M. and end at 4 P.M.

  • Check traffic reports before you leave

Whenever possible, check the traffic reports before you hit the road and plan your trip well. While on the road, stay tune on the radio channel with traffic reports and change routes where necessary.

  • Invest in a good GPS (Global Positioning System)

A GPS will be extremely useful to help you find alternative routes when you are at a new place. It would be even more efficient if the GPS unit you have come with the traffic report feature in which the GPS will always be updated and guide you through your entire journey using minimum time from location A to location B.

  • Subscribe to Traffic Report on your mobile

Another good way of avoiding busy roads is to subscribe to traffic report on your mobile so that you can easily avoid the road at standstill that could save you your previous time.

  • Alternative Mode of Transportation

Always bear in mind that there could be other alternative means of transportation that could bring you from your place to the place where you want to be. You can opt for taking a public transport, for example subway, train, bus or taxi, instead of driving to the destination yourself. You can even use a bicycle or motorbike instead of driving a car.

  • Car Pool

Always remember the option of a potential for car pool. Look out for potential car pool partners as it will save you a lot of resources (time and money) on the road driving the motor vehicle yourself. You could also have a more relax journey chit-chatting with your car pool partners during the trip.

What to do during Traffic Jam?

Well, despite all the above, traffic jam seems to be something unavoidable to all drivers. So, what can you do in a jam?

  • Listen to the radio

Turn on the radio when you drive, not only you can keep up with the traffic status; it can also help you relax and unwind.

  • Listen to the music you like on the CD

Always have some of your favorite CDs (songs or talks) in your car, listen to those while you are in a jam.

  • Reading materials

If you come to a standstill, such as a long Red Light at traffic light, pick up your newspaper, magazines or books and start to read. That way, you will not waste your time doing nothing and getting heated up emotionally due to the long wait and time loss.

  • Drinks and snacks

Have some drinks or light snacks in the car, that way, it will kill off some boring time, while ensure you will not be dehydrated and hungry if the traffic jam become extensive.

  • Mobile devices

Have your mobile devices handy and connected to the hands-free, you can call up a friend for a leisure chat while stuck in a jam. However, you need to be caution not to cause any accident. Safety always comes first.

Regardless whether we like it or not, we are bound to hit some negative traffic condition in our day-to-day life. Just remember, sit back, relax, stay cool and enjoy the journey. You will not know what you will see along the way! Remember to drive safe!

Please be reminded that one should use the above tips wisely and appropriately so as not to cause inconvenience and safety issues to other road users. These tips are served as information for references only and all drivers are to use the tips responsibly and at their own risks.


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    • kidsworld profile image

      kidsworld 6 years ago

      Being caught in traffic jam will make me feel more tired than working in office. So, I'll always try to avoid the peak hour for traveling !

    • klyyong profile image

      klyyong 6 years ago

      Getting caught in the traffic jam is another form of stress especially when you are competing with time to reach a destination. So avoid the peak hour and plan your trip early is really a good idea to avoid traffic jam and getting stressed.

    • idex231 profile image

      idex231 6 years ago from MY

      My Footprints, if the place I stay have efficient public transport system, I will not drive.

      Yes, agree with all of you that jam is a real waste of time, but we still need to go on the road, thus we just have to face the reality and find ways to reduce this bad stress. It is really worth to put some thoughts to figure out how we could make our lives easier during the traffic jam.

    • MMelody profile image

      MMelody 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Really useful..thanks!

    • GT Ooi profile image

      GT Ooi 6 years ago from Penang, Malaysia

      Traffic jam is part of partial of our daily life, we have to exercise patient, I will say my prayer instead of cursing, this indeed help to purify our mind

    • martinyz profile image

      martinyz 6 years ago

      Traffic jam is also a contributor to stress. Good sharing on how we can cope with it.

    • profile image

      happyyeo 6 years ago

      Most of the time, we are busy on our daily works. During traffic jam, we can take this opportunity to listen to the music for relaxing our mind and chit chat with our family members or friends. Thanks for sharing.

    • idex231 profile image

      idex231 6 years ago from MY

      Totally agree with dvdlyw, a standstill sometimes is better than continuous slow moving jam. At the very minimum, some reading can be done!I personally find that listen to radio and CDs are the easier ones. I used to have a few CDs on past seminars that I missed, and most of the time, before i knew it, I've completed listening to it for the second time. So, time really flies. I've started to pay more attention to audio books in the market these days, so that it be used in the cars, whether there is traffic jam or not.

    • joriechew profile image

      joriechew 6 years ago

      Traffic jams – a perfect waste of time. It can be unavoidable. When I’m caught in one, I’ll ask myself, What’s good about it? Humm … it’s better than walking!

      Happy driving!

    • dvdlyw profile image

      dvdlyw 6 years ago from Singapore

      yes, nothing much we can do, but to be patient and make full use of time in traffic jam.. sometime I hope that the traffic don't move (instead of moving slowly) so that i can finish reading an article :)

    • henrygogoals profile image

      henrygogoals 6 years ago from Singapare

      Thanks for sharing... I hate traffic jam, specially during go to and back from work. I need to retire from my work soon....

    • profile image

      Ky 6 years ago

      Good way to utilize time during traffic jam. Thanks for sharing

    • kikitingpg profile image

      kikitingpg 6 years ago from Singapore

      i really hope our country traffic could be better manage.

    • fmhyudin profile image

      fmhyudin 6 years ago

      Very beneficial. Thank you for sharing.

    • mrcan profile image

      mrcan 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Pay attention to construction schedules. The routes I travel most often appeared to be scheduled for road construction quite a bit. If I am aware of the construction schedules I am able to plan to either expect a traffic jam or plan an alternative route to avoid the road construction delays.

      Great sharing !

    • My Footprints profile image

      My Footprints 6 years ago from MY

      Good public transport systems can really help to reduce the incidences of traffic jams. Like Singapore with its MRT and shuttle feeder system have make it very convenient for all walks of life to move from places to places. However, chaos rules during rush hours. Wise thing to do to avoid the jam is either leave for the office early or leave the office later ie avoid the rush hours jam.

    • profile image

      ghiblipg 6 years ago

      guess the only ways here is to avoid the jam.

    • ilitek profile image

      ilitek 6 years ago

      i would try to avoid jammed whenever possible.

    • beginners-dslr profile image

      beginners-dslr 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Route navigation and time management are good tips in dealing with traffic jam. Seeking alternative route using navigational devices/smart phones and avoid traveling during rush hours are great approaches. Another thing to be aware of is the construction schedules, we can plan ahead alternative route accordingly. Thanks for the tips, voted up!

    • profile image

      norman24 6 years ago

      thanks for sharing this info