For those who live in more urban areas, traffic congestion is usually a daily headache that seemingly no one can escape. It’s hard enough given the road often doesn’t have the necessary capacity to handle the growing amounts of vehicles moving along them, but impatient, aggressive, and rude drivers just make everything worse. Congested traffic can be an unavoidable problem for those of us on the ground, but we can avoid contributing to the problem. So, here are a few ways to keep from contributing to congested traffic.
Until you can come up with a route and proper timing, one of the better ways to avoid adding to congested traffic is taking mass transit, such as the bus or the train. Not only are there fewer cars on the road, but mass transit can also be cheaper, more relaxing, environmentally-friendly, and cheaper in the right circumstances.
Whether it’s jogging, walking, riding a bike, or roller blading, active transportation is another way to reduce congestion. If you only normally drive a short distance, active transportation is actually very cost-effective. It also offers a simple way to improve one’s health while cutting down the gas bill as well. However, if you do use the street, avoid needlessly obstructing or confusing motorized traffic because then you are, by definition, helping congest traffic.
Have a Plan
When driving, know where your exits are and when you have to change lanes or make turns in advance, so as to avoid merging at the last minute, which can slow down traffic and potentially cause an accident. Smooth moves in busy traffic not only keep everything flowing, but they also keep everyone safer.
This may sound obvious, but many drivers are usually zoned out or daydreaming and therefore not paying attention to what is happening, even one car-length or so ahead. So, try to remain alert by looking ahead as much as you can, with your peripheral vision catching what’s not directly ahead. Look for road hazards, accidents, or other concerning issues and always anticipate slowdowns. Do not be afraid to use your horn (respectfully) if you suspect someone isn’t paying attention.
Avoid Distractions Even in Slow Traffic
Even when traffic is at a standstill or very slow, drivers need to fight the urge to talk or text on their phones, put on make-up, or glance at the newspaper. Texting, reading, or anything that requires some of your attention is discourteous to the other drivers who either have to honk at you or wait for you. It’s best that drivers remain alert in all circumstances behind the wheel to keep the flow of traffic moving. Remember, it’s illegal now in some places to talk, text, or even mess with GPS when in traffic.
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