Rush hour traffic can be a beast, turning even the friendliest of drivers into angst-filled motorists. And it doesn’t happen just once a day, but twice! While these busy hours can vary greatly by city and state, most places experience a significant increase in traffic from 8 to 9 a.m. and 5 to 6 p.m.
So, what’s the best way to handle rush hour traffic? Check out our tips.
Try and avoid it! If possible, work out a schedule with your employer that helps you avoid commuting during the busiest hours of the day. If that’s not an option, check out some alternative routes. Taking the back roads to work might be longer distance-wise, but during rush hour, the longer way can sometimes be the faster way. Even if your alternative route adds a few minutes to your total travel time, it might be worth saving yourself the stress of driving on packed roads and highways.
Drive recklessly. Getting to work on time is not worth risking your life or the lives of others on the road. No running red lights, no speeding in school zones, no illegal passing and no aggressive driving. Not only will this type of behavior get you a ticket, but it will increase the likelihood of potentially fatal accidents. If you’re running late, let work know before you even leave the house.
Figure out what time is best to leave. Leaving 10 or 15 minutes earlier can mean the difference between an easy commute and 30 minutes of heavy traffic. It may take some trial and error, but once you’ve found your sweet spot, your daily commute could become a lot less stressful. To help make your mornings even better, pack lunches and pick out clothes the night before. A smoother morning routine will leave you more patient and relaxed during traffic jams and unexpected delays.
Weave in and out of lanes. Not only will this cause your drive to be more stressful than necessary, but according to the popular show “Mythbusters”, it doesn’t save you much time either. In fact, lane changing on the highway can often be dangerous. And if you end up cutting someone off, you could become the target of road rage. In the end, shaving a few minutes off your commute isn’t worth the hassle or the increased accident risk.
Create a rush hour playlist of your favorite jams. You already know there’s not much you can do about the traffic. So instead of scanning the radio and listening to commercial after commercial, why not enjoy some of your favorite songs? It will help pass the time and keep you relaxed. Just remember, stop-and-go traffic can lead to fender benders. So try not to play the music too loud and stay focused on the road.
Need more tips for the road? Visit AAA.com/DosAndDonts.