Learning how to beat traffic and improve your commute can help you navigate swamped roads during heavily-trafficked events.
Four ways that you can beat the traffic include:
1. Accident and Traffic Alerts
When I'm going anywhere, I use Google Maps. It's not that I don't know the roads in the city, but I want to know which areas are experiencing higher-than-normal traffic and accidents. There are a lot of apps and websites that can help, such as:
Waze: A free app that provides real-time help from other drivers so that you choose the best route every day.
Traffic Zebra: A site that offers an up-to-date Idaho road report to let you know what's happening on local roads.
Maps is provided by Google, and the company has apps for Android and iOS. Google Maps provides in-depth traffic conditions and real-time navigation along with ETAs.
Knowing about traffic and local car accidents before you get stuck in a traffic jam is half the battle. You'll be able to avoid a lot of gridlock and get to your destination much faster with this tip alone.
2. Avoid Stopping
Multi-tasking is a part of life. People multi-task during their commute and don't even realize it. You take a detour to:
Get coffee at Starbucks
Stop to fill up on gas
When the flow of traffic keeps moving, avoid stopping. Drivers also tend to slow down when they do menial tasks, like change the radio station, pick up the phone to text, or finish that morning burrito they picked up at the drive-thru.
A helpful tip to avoid this slowdown is to put on your cruise control. Cruise control will ensure that you maintain the same speed during your entire trip despite your multi-tasking prowess.
3. Take the Train – Really
Public transportation is very reliable, and it's an option in most towns. Taking the train may cost more, but you can often buy a monthly pass and beat the traffic in the process. Trains often run on time.
Mountain Home hasn't had a proper train route for a long time, but the Mayor is working to change that.
Depending on your commute, you might find a train along your route that will cut out most of your morning traffic congestion.
4. Adjust the Time You Leave
You don't have to leave the last minute and scramble to get to work on time. I suggest leaving a little earlier to alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes along with racing against the clock. There's also the potential that you'll speed or "take more risks" to get to work on time if you rush.
Leave earlier than you need to in an effort to avoid taking more risks while driving.
If you have an option, you may want to leave for work a little later, too. This isn't an option for everyone, but if you have the opportunity to work 10 – 6 instead of 9 – 5, you'll beat much of the morning traffic.