Life, death, taxes, and now traffic. These are the constants of modern urban life.
With more and more cars joining our limited road network, standstills may be the norm for the next couple of years. What should be a short trip can sometimes become a long, agonizing journey.
2015 saw us motorists spend hours in gridlock. So for 2016, why not make staying calm in traffic part of your resolution? We list down 8 ways to keep cool and motor on through our heavily congested roads.
1.) Prep your music preferences beforehand. Since you will likely be in for the long haul, it would be best to have your favorite tunes ready to calm or even perk up your mood. Forgot your portable music player? Bluetooth device not working? Tune in to your favorite radio station and listen away. Or try listening to something more soothing than normal to calm your nerves, like classical music at 98.7 fm.
2.) Have someone tag along with you. Having a companion on your drive actually helps, as long as they're not a 'backseat driver'. Aside from acting as your co-pilot and your grip on sanity, having a passenger can also inhibit reckless driving. Would you weave through the streets knowing that you're endangering yourself, other motorists and your friend?
3.) Take note of detours and alternate routes. It pays to know where you're going. Have in mind a backup route just before going out as it can save time and avoid unnecessary downtime along congested roads. Mapping services such as Waze, Google Maps and Apple Maps also offer real-time traffic monitoring. They can even provide alternate routes that can cut travel time.
4.) Plan your trips accordingly. Have multiple stops or errands along the way? In relation to number 3, plan them out strategically by knowing exactly where you are going. Maximize your trips, by stringing a few errands or stops along the route together as it will allow you to save on gas and time. Getting to know the best times to hit the streets is also good idea.
5.) Learn to let go of other motorists' mistakes. As the saying goes, nobody is perfect. Some, if not most of us, have made mistakes behind the wheel. No matter how experienced we are in driving, there is no denying the many factors that can add to the chaotic traffic. We should also learn to accept that not all drivers on the road are highly adept in maneuvering their vehicle, or know proper road courtesy.
6.) Bring a stress reliever. The ubiquitous stress ball or good ol' bubble wrap can provide temporary relief when the car in front you has not yet moved for the past 15 minutes. Instead of venting your anger on other motorists, let these object take the beating.
7.) Limit your speed, you're traveling not racing. A friendly reminder for everyone: we are on public roads, not race tracks. The roads are clogged up as it is and hammering the gas pedal won't do you any good, especially your fuel consumption. If inching forward aggressively is your thing, chances are you will usually end up angry, which brings us neatly to our next tip.
8.) Never drive angry. Driving is and will always be considered a form of stress relief, but if you're already feeling angry before getting behind the wheel, reconsider taking that cruise. Being emotional while on the road can cloud one's judgment and can make a bad mood even worse when stuck in heavy traffic.
And that wraps up our suggestions to keep your cool when stuck in traffic. How do you keep your cool behind the wheel? Let us know in the comments.