You may name it in any manner but the traffic congestion, traffic jams and traffic snarls are motorists’ greatest nightmare. Such situation spoils our precious working hours each day. We face such traffic jams in every city. Recently a 100 km traffic snarl in China made headlines all over the world that too for 10 days in a stretch on the Beijing-Tibet Expressway, formerly known as the Badaling Expressway, due to ongoing maintenance construction work. Is it possible to avoid such traffic tragedies? You may ask. And my answer is ‘Yes’! Certainly.
I handle diplomatic assignments but never ever use sirens, security, police personnel to clear my road and yet each week for three consecutive days I work at Delhi, the capital of India, where traffic jams are a frequent time spoiler. You will be surprised to know that I very rarely suffer such traffic stopper situations because of my recently acquired skills; I am going to share with you. You may use tricks elsewhere as well and save several working hours.
Avoid Traffic Stoppers
- Make use of Local Radios: Invariably all local and community (FM) radios keep broadcasting traffic situation around. Make it a habit to listen local FM while taking bath or spending time at toilets. When you hear about possibility of road blockades, don’t take risk.
- Plan your Route: Remember, the golden rule is plan your journey and route. Take shorter route. May be the small roads traveling across colonies and joining other areas. Some how get out of the busy roads as soon as possible. Keep an eye over the traffic movement in from of you and if you see the vehicles stopping for longer time, better take a service lane and switching over to a less crowded road. There could be a hundred routes to your destination but you there are only few worth considering. Plan your journey in advance so that you have a clear mind and know where exactly you want to go. This method exposes you to lesser anxiety and confusion.
- Consider Alternate Routes: Last week I was at Delhi and deliberately hired a cab. I told my driver to take me to destination through the local marketplaces and residential colonies. Strangely enough he took lesser time but had to travel a few kilometers longer, still I saved about twenty minutes. When you have the time, please take a different route to get to work. You will discover not only new roads and new places; you would also find an interesting alternate & shorter route. Wouldn’t that save hours of driving in a week?
- Start Early, Leave Late: Traffic experts all over the world advice that to avoid traffic congestion, one should start early and leave late. Not only you would save several working hours, it would also build your image as a person who values time. The best time to move for work is about 8 in the morning, if you are about to travel 30 kilometers. If you are returning back then it should be around 7 PM for the same distance.
- Why not Metro?: During heavy rains, its not at all advisable to travel by road. Instead you should leave home early and take a trip in the local train. It never stops midway and almost invariably reaches destination within time. Recently I was trapped at Delhi and despite all my precautions, I had to leave my transport and take a metro. Fortunately this decision taken well in advance, worked and I reached my work place in time. Later I navigated my driver and summoned him the place where I was engaged.
- Joining Mode: Long back, I was traveling to Mumbai, where there was a huge traffic jam due to a waterlogged underpass. I took the stairs and descended down to the other side, where I found a rickshaw. Later I called one of my friends living nearby and he dropped me to the local train station. This trick may fail, if you don’t have too many friends to help you in crisis.
Apart from the above strategies, you should always bear in mind that sometimes nothing works at all. Under such circumstances you are required to carry your breakfast in your vehicle with plenty of water. I always keep two bottles of mineral water. Never forget to take with you your daily medicines. Better you should keep two days’ supply inside the dashboard. A road atlas of the area would be a great help in emergencies. If you can afford, better buy a navigation device.
You might not be carrying your mobile charger with you. It’s better to keep it ready inside the car itself. Apart from these measures, try to keep a car-laptop charger along with your lappy. If you are hypoglycemia then take extra precaution of keeping some hard boiled sugar candies to keep yourself safe when you feel like going short of glucose.
And last but not the least, keep telling your home and colleagues about your traffic jam and consoling that you are okay, this is no less important.