It is hard to avoid the gridlock that occurs in most corridors around the United States during rush hour. Rush hour is a timeframe that occurs around nine to five work hours when most people are commuting. For some drivers, this can be an opportunity to enjoy their breakfast as they wade through bumper-to-bumper congestion. For others, this is the ideal time to vent some of their rages at fellow motorists who cross their path. Let’s consider how you can reduce the time spent in traffic below.
Timing is Everything
Although it may be hard to buck your regular schedule, leaving an hour earlier or later can reduce your commute times in half. The most difficult aspect of this is trying to get just enough sleep and live a full day without being a slave to your job. Most people can’t cram enough after-work activities into a day the way it is.
If you can shop for your groceries and take care of other tasks near your workplace, like automotive repairs and maintenance, this will help you make the most of your extra hour after work. To leave earlier, you can try light-proofing your room.
If you can eliminate any light leakage, it will be easier to increase melatonin levels and fall asleep an hour earlier. This way, you will still wake up refreshed and beat the morning rush. Avoiding sleeping pills, exercising, and eating healthy will also help to improve your sleeping habits.
Planning is Everything Else
The other key aspect of reducing your time on the road during your commute is to plan for weather and congestion. Many people will continue to take the same route every day because that is where their GPS app takes them. If you think outside of the box and use an actual roadmap to find new routes, you can shave a substantial amount of time off your route.
You also have to plan for the weather and construction, however. If the weather is bad or the roads are undergoing construction, you can plan on adding an extra hour to your route if you don’t avoid those areas altogether. Bridges usually ice up quickly in the winter and should be avoided for that reason alone. You should also avoid back roads in the winter because they may be unplowed.
In addition to planning out the route, you can also find partners willing to carpool or, otherwise, rely on public transit. Using public transit can provide you with an opportunity to sleep during the commute or cram in some work on your laptop. All you need is a mobile hotspot connection on your cellular phone to work on the train or bus if they are not equipped with their Wi-Fi systems.
Equipping your vehicle with snow tires in the winter and ensuring that your vehicle is tuned up will also reduce the chances of being passed by aggressive drivers and stuck at the back of the line. You should also avoid areas that are known to harbor lots of police officers. Police will slow down the flow of vehicles and create congestion by simply sitting on the side of the road.
Commuting to work doesn’t have to be a daily bout of frustration and stress if you follow these tips. Statistics show that being stuck in gridlock increases your risk for a heart attack. Regardless of what routes or alternatives you choose, you should always relax and keep some snacks to enjoy the break if you do get stuck.