When you’re stuck in traffic, it’s easy to feel like you’re wasting precious minutes of your life sitting and doing nothing. Unfortunately, that is not only a feeling but a fact.
In 2019, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute conducted a study to determine the average time commuters waste on the road. The staggering results revealed that every year, the average American commuter wastes 54 hours of their life sitting and stewing inside their car, stuck in endless traffic.
The time you’re wasting doing nothing inside your Subaru and the feeling of frustration that stems from it, especially during rush hour, can lead you to drive recklessly or experience road rage. This may result in unwanted incidents that can harm you and other people on the road. To prevent any of these from happening, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape every day
Can you imagine if the traffic’s bad, you’re running late, and on top of it all, your car stalls? You may have an overheated car, which can damage your head gasket. Your tires may be worn and suddenly you’ve got a flat tire in the middle of the packed road. You don’t want any of these inconveniences while on the road. So, regular maintenance and repair are essential, including checking your Subaru’s head gasket, replacing your tires or having a spare, and other essential things you should take care of. When you’re prepared, you have one less thing to stress about on the road.
2. Keep your focus on the road
We get it: it can be incredibly boring staring at that bumper of the same car that’s been in front of you for hours on end. But, that doesn’t mean you should constantly reach for your phone or get distracted by something else. The closeness of cars makes it too easy to crash into one another when you need to suddenly stop. Being distracted will only increase the risk of you hitting someone or something, especially during rush hour where a few inches and a couple of seconds can make a huge difference.
3. Stay in your lane
In trying to beat the traffic, drivers tend to constantly switch lanes when they see an open spot in another. But switching lanes can pose a hazard to other drivers. So, it’s better to stay in the middle or right lane instead of weaving through moving cars just to get ahead.
4. Never engage in aggressive driving
Aggressive driving is a major factor in U.S. traffic accidents. It’s true that being stuck with nothing to do can be extremely frustrating, but keep in mind that your anger will not make the cars go faster or the traffic any lighter. Turn on the radio and listen to music, take deep breaths, or meditate to clear your head. As long as you’re paying attention to the road and keeping your cool, you’ll get to your destination safely and with less stress.
When the traffic is already bad, letting your frustration get the best of you and then getting into an accident will make matters worse. Remember that the drivers around you do not enjoy being stuck in gridlock any more than you do; so when driving, keep your wits – and your cool – about you.