In the moment where it is happening, being stuck in a traffic jam feels like the most infuriating thing a person could experience.
After all, you just want to get somewhere. You’ve gotten into your car, got the right directions, and headed out with the expectation of arriving at a certain point in time… and now you’re stuck, surrounded by exhaust fumes from cars, trucks, and other road users, going nowhere fast.
The way that many of us feel when encountering the above scenario is understandable; unnecessary delays can upset our entire schedule, and make us feel panicked and on edge. If you struggle with these issues when stuck in traffic, then the tips below may be beneficial the next time you experience a tailback…
1) Don’t switch lanes
We’ve all seen drivers who switch lanes constantly in a traffic jam and, at times, following suit can be tempting. However, lane switching is genuinely dangerous, especially when you consider that many drivers stuck in a jam mentally “switch off” as they crawl forward at a snail’s pace. If you hop lanes, there’s a very real chance you could experience an accident that requires the assistance of car or truck accident attorneys with Gray and White Law to resolve legally, and you’re likely to find the stress of continual switching just exacerbates your existing unease. As a result, it’s usually best to just pick a lane and stick with it for the duration of the jam.
2) Go through the “what if” scenarios
If you are going to be late to an appointment due to the jam, it’s all-too-easy to over-focus on this, feeling more and more agitated as every minute passes. To combat this, it can be useful to walk through the “what if” scenarios and explore how you would deal with the result of each scenario. Not only does this help to distract you, but you will usually find that each of the “what ifs” are easily managed, which should help you feel calmer.
3) Plan the alternative route in your mind
At times when your vehicle is completely stationary, it can be helpful to plan the route you would have taken if you had been forewarned about the jam in advance. This serves as a distraction, which is helpful in and of itself, but can also be genuinely useful if you need to drive this same route again in the future. You may not have been able to foresee it this time, but you’ll be prepared next time.
4) Close the windows
Vehicle exhaust fumes are toxic to human health, which is extremely concerning if you are stuck in traffic surrounded by idling engines. To avoid any damaging effects from this, close your windows and, if available, select the button to recirculate air on your car’s control panel.
By keeping the tips above in mind, your next experience of a traffic jam should be as calm, collected, and easily managed as it can possibly be – leaving you free to resume your journey as soon as you are able to do so.