No one likes sitting in traffic, but it is often a common occurrence in the daily commute. If you have to travel any distance to get to work, you eventually are likely to encounter construction traffic. Here are four ways to navigate it safely.
Dealing with construction traffic effectively starts before you ever leave home. You can track patterns in your area with a traffic app on your phone. Check it as soon as your alarm goes off so that you can plan to leave a little earlier than usual if necessary. If your usual route looks congested, use the map feature to find a different way to get to work. It may not be faster on most days, but it can save you a lot of time when there’s construction.
It’s always important, of course, to pay close attention to your surroundings when you drive. When there’s construction, however, acute observation of what’s going on around you is even more vital to your safety and the safety of others. You will probably have to slow down and you may be detoured to another route. Look for variable speed llimit signs and workers who are directing the flow of traffic.
Heavy traffic is frustrating for everybody. It doesn’t help when drivers turn their frustration into aggression. Avoid weaving in and out of different lanes, trying to inch forward before everyone else. Use your blinker any time you do need to change lanes, and merge quickly when someone pauses to let you in. If someone else needs to merge into your lane, let them in. Do your part to alleviate the stress of others.
Managing your own stress is important, too. Play relaxing music or listen to your favorite podcast or a new audiobook when you drive. Focus your mind on your upcoming day, particularly the things you’re looking forward to doing. If you feel your pulse getting quicker, take a few deep breaths to relax your body and your mind. Remaining calm in the midst of chaos is a valuable coping skill and can make your morning commute less stressful.
Experiencing occasional congestion with traffic is almost inevitable when you commute to work daily. You can’t control traffic, but you can control how you respond to it. Learning how to adjust to delays can make those times less fraught with anxiety for both you and the drivers around you.