Driving in Traffic

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DRiving in heavy traffic can be a major bummer. The best way to prepare yourself for it is to take in-car driving lessons that will give you the skills and confidence you need. But you also need to be mentally prepared. Rush hour, bad weather conditions, road construction–millions of reasons can cause vicious mile-long traffic on the road. Maybe you’re lucky enough to just observe this madness through the window and pass it by: if so, congratulations! Drop us a line in the comments below to teach us your secret. But if you’re heading straight into the scene of slow boredom, then you should prepare yourself to be patient.

Driving in traffic can become frustrating and annoying. Let’s be honest: out and out, this can turn your trip into a nightmare and ruin your plans, no matter what they were. But bad traffic is an almost inevitable experience, and sooner or later anyone can get trapped into a tight, hardly-moving anthill. (How’s that for an image?) Don’t panic, it’s not forever: the world’s longest traffic jam was only 60 miles long, and you’re probably not stuck in that on, so just act calm and confident and do your best not to lose self-control.

If there is any chance to avoid driving in traffic, use it:

— Don’t forget about the unique characteristics of your car radio. Find the local news station to hear the latest traffic report.
— Check road congestion online, preferably, right before your departure and plan your route according the situation.
— Choose your destinations and routes with rush hour in mind. Even at the busiest times of day, you can make excellent time if you’re going a direction no-one else is.
— Choose less popular ways. Even though small residential streets may seem more tedious due to numerous stop signs and lower speed limits, they can keep you moving towards your destination. Like the tortoise: slow and steady can win the race. Not that you’re racing. You’re not racing, are you? No? Good. Racing is illegal, dangerous, and just in general a terrible idea.

Get ready for driving in traffic, if it is impossible to avoid it

— Regardless of how others act, never break the law. It is punishable, it is dangerous and it may lead to a bad habit of doing it again. You will be caught, you will be punished and it will not be worth it.
— Pay close attention to drivers, who change lanes too often and too fast. Be prepared to deal with them, when they are around; and don’t be surprised, when they try to cut you off. Leave them plenty of room. Let them pass you: it’s a safe bet that you’ll pass them in a few minutes, after they get pulled over.
— If there is a chance to get off the road safely to find an alternate route, do it. But you should know the area or have GPS or map with you. You might spend more time trying to figure out the way on an unknown road, than you would spend sitting in traffic.
— Be courteous. Allow people into your lane, if their lane is ending, if they need to exit, if they need to turn, or if they just plain think your lane is the fast lane. Being courteous and obeying the law will prevent everyone from a nasty collision and will help avoid road rage.