We all know that sinking feeling: you jump in the car with just enough time to make it to work or a social rendezvous; you pull out of the driveway, turn the corner to the main road and then, without fail, you hit traffic. In the months without snow, the volume is worse than usual thanks to the number of construction projects underway. Don’t fret: the following will help you reduce stress and keep your journeys brisk.
#1: Recalibrate your schedule
Few things in life are predictable, but one thing is for sure: rush hour means traffic. Inevitably, you will get caught in it from time to time. However, these days technology has made remote working commonplace while the nine-to-five business model has begun to shift. Do you work in a flexible environment? Can you go in early or work late? If not, consider planning errands on either end of your commute or trip. Feel like you never have time to hit the gym? Why not work out right at the height of rush hour and head home afterward? Don’t have time to hit the grocery store or catch-up with friends? Try meeting them for an early breakfast or post-work dinner.
#2: Trade four wheels for two
For part of the year, depending on the length of your route, you could avoid traffic altogether by hopping on a bicycle or opting for the two-feet-and-a-heartbeat approach (i.e. walking). By doing this in the warm months, not only will this free you from sitting in your car for an extended time, it is also a good way to get in a bit of physical activity.
#3: Go public
Do you live in an area with accessible and convenient public transit? While public buses, trains, or subway (or metros) may not keep you out of traffic completely, they do keep your hands off the wheel so you can spend more time catching up on work, diving into a book, or just playing on your phone. As a bonus, you do a bit of good for the environment by eliminating one car from the highway. In a similar vein…
#4: Jump into the pool
More and more municipalities are introducing carpool lanes to encourage less consumption of fuel and expedite commutes. Rather than going solo to work or events, try enlisting a few friends or colleagues to carpool and speed your collective travel along.
#5: Tech a new approach
When it comes to increasing your speed and efficacy, technology has never been better. Today, traffic apps show real-time volume, point out slowdowns caused by accidents or construction, and suggest the absolute best way to carry out your journey. Download and set up a hands-free one and rev up your engine.
Of course, if you are in the drivers’ seat of a motorized vehicle, no matter how many wheels it has, make sure that your insurance policy is current and includes all the coverage you need. Talk to your provider today.
Insurance Bureau of Canada – All About Auto Insurance: http://assets.ibc.ca/Documents/Brochures/All-about-Auto-Insurance.pdf
Statistics Canada – Commuting to work: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-012-x/99-012-x2011003_1-eng.cfm