Driving 5 Miles per Hour — On the Freeway!
dealings jams can create some of the most torment behind-the-wheel scenarios. The trick to dealing with backups is being prepared — and avoiding them whenever possible.
here are some tips for avoiding traffic jams :
- The radio has more than just music. When you hop in the car, check the local news station for the latest traffic report. Some areas even have traffic-only stations. Or go online and check traffic cameras before you set out. If there is a jam, you’ll be prepared and can try an alternate route.
- Take the road less traveled. Although highways may be the most direct route, back roads can be much less crowded (not to mention more scenic), saving you the frustration of stop-and-go traffic.
- Rush hour isn’t just a cute nickname. OK, so the morning and afternoon traffic crunches last for several hours, but they’re still called “rush hour” for a reason — everyone’s on the road and in a hurry to get somewhere. Treat rush hour like bad weather — if you don’t have to go anywhere, stay off the roads when there’s a lot of traffic.
Dealing With Traffic
here are some tips for those ineluctable dealings jams :
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- Don’t break the law. You’ve gone 30 feet in 30 minutes and all of a sudden you see people using the shoulders as lanes. Not only is this dangerous, it’s illegal and there’s a good chance they’ll get caught — better them forking over a couple of hundred bucks for a ticket than you.
- Pay extra attention to zig-zaggers. When people have somewhere to be and can’t get there, they can get pretty desperate. They may start switching lanes every 5 seconds or cut you off. Keep checking your windows and mirrors for these serial lane changers. If you can identify them when they’re several cars back, you can be prepared when they get close to you.
- Look for an escape. If it is possible to exit the road safely, do it. The longer you stay in the backup, the faster you may lose your patience. Carry a map or GPS unit, or know your route well enough to adjust mid-trip if needed.
- Be courteous. Good manners may sound old-school, but common decency is not. In fact, politeness could help you avoid a collision. Traffic jams often involve multiple lanes merging. Allow people in from a lane that is ending. Speeding up to keep them out increases your chances of crashing and inciting road rage. And if you’re in the lane that is ending, merge when it’s your turn and try to remember to give a “thank-you” wave.
construction zones can appear nightlong, turning a road you knew like the back of your hand into a wholly obscure place. It helps to know what all those orange work-zone signs mean ( you can find out on your express ‘s department of transportation web site ), but what else can you do ?
- Look out for and avoid debris. If you can do it safely, avoid running over debris in a work zone. Scrap metal or nails can cause flat tires and blowouts.
- Start slowing down as soon as you see a sign that says work zone ahead. Don’t wait until you come to the zone and slam on your brakes.
- Don’t forget the all-important rule of work zones — FINES DOUBLE!