There’s nothing more frustrating than traffic, and if you’re experiencing it every day, it can seriously impact your overall stress levels. Fortunately, even if you live in a big city famous for its traffic jams, there are plenty of tricks you can try to beat the traffic.
5 Ways to Beat Traffic
Below, we’ve brought together some of the best tips for beating traffic, from technology-driven approaches to old-fashioned tricks.
1. Know your destination
You know the general direction of where you’re headed, but do you really have a clear picture of what your destination is going to be like when you get there? You might know the highway or expressway you need to hop on to get near your destination, but fumbling the final few turns can add several minutes to your trip.
At the same time, driving around in search of a parking spot, especially on commercial streets, can help increase traffic — plus it’s a time-wasting pain in the neck. Knowing your destination and journey in detail, and knowing where you’re going to park ahead of time, can cut down on these delays.
2. Learn different routes
Take some time out of your day and investigate alternate routes that you can take. Ideally, you’ll discover 3 or 4 new ways to get to your destination. You can find these routes by driving around, looking at maps online, or using websites or apps that provide directions for you (Google maps will usually give you a few options when you put in a destination, for instance).
It’s important to give these routes a test run, as something that looks good on paper could end up presenting obstacles when you’re actually driving it. Ideally, you’ll end up with some tried-and-tested alternate routes that you feel comfortable relying on when your main route is congested.
3. Metro lines
It’s a no-brainer that public transportation helps to cut down on traffic by taking cars off the road. Take some time to look into the metro lines around where you live. Odds are you’ll be able to find a metro journey that gets you where you need to be — whether that’s work, the grocery store, the gym, or wherever — faster than you’d expect. Not only will you not have to stress about traffic and parking — you’ll also have time to jam out to some music, read a book, or shoot off some texts to your friends.
Carpooling is a great way to cut down on traffic, and more and more cities are starting to encourage it by creating carpool lanes and other incentives. Essentially, if you and your work friends know that you’re all going to be heading to the office at the same time everyday, you can decide to go in one car rather than four. You’ll get to catch up with your friends and relax a bit if it’s not your turn to drive — all while saving on gas, beating traffic, and helping the environment.
5. When in doubt, entertain yourself
So, that thing you’ve dreaded has finally happened — you’re stuck in a traffic jam and already starting to lose your mind. The good news is you can beat the traffic even if you’re in traffic with a simple change of perspective. Seize the moment and find a few ways to entertain yourself and keep a cool ahead, and the entire experience will be much less stressful. If traffic is at a standstill, it’s safe to use your phone, browse through and discover new radio stations, or any other trick you can find to pass the time.