Traffic jam problem: how not to go mad
Any queue chews up the most valuable thing every human has, — time. Thus, a traffic jam (the same queue, but for a free pass) disturbs the emotional balance of drivers. They easily blow off, quickly overdo and start going crazy. This article describes some helpful tips on how to act in traffic jams in order not to destroy your physical and mental health.
What is a traffic jam and how to avoid it
A traffic jam or in plain words, road congestion may occur either consistently or spontaneously. In the first case, it happens during rush hours (morning, evening) or right before the holidays when everyone goes shopping at the market or to the malls, or before the weekends (when families set off for a countryside trip). You can avoid traffic jams if you do everything beforehand or avoid driving within specified time intervals.
If we talk about spontaneous traffic jams, only luck can help you here since due to car crashes traffic jams happen quite often. Traffic police enforcers will not allow you to drive until the situation is resolved. As a result, this road section may be closed for several hours. Those who are not far from the accident scene will have to wait since they can’t drive off anywhere to look for a detour.
Thus, quite often a driver can’t avoid hitting a traffic jam even if it is consistent. A person has to sit in a car motionless for 4-5 hours or drive at a minimum speed. What should you do to be ready for a traffic jam and get out of it with minimum losses?
Preparing for a trip
When you plan any trips, you should understand that quite often you can’t stay within the minimum time. Thus, it is better to stay attuned of the period that exceeds the scheduled time. And better yet, cancel your trip. After all, you can simply walk. That is good for your health. However, if you decided to go, get ready for a trip according to the proverb “for your day trip’s bread take a weak’s spread”. Make sure you have taken food, drinks, pure water, books (e-books are okay too), table games (if you have a travel companion), cigarettes (if you smoke), your favourite CDs. Keep in mind that these are the things you should always take with you on a car trip because, as we already mentioned before, you cannot foresee a spontaneous traffic jam. If a smell of burning annoys you a lot, buy a cabin air filter or air ionizer.
How to keep yourself busy in a traffic jam
Since the previous paragraph described a travel checklist, it means that in a traffic jam you can:
- read (or listen to audiobooks);
- play table games;
- enjoy the music;
- turn on the radio and listen to the news;
- draw up plans for the next week, month or vacation;
- do breathing exercises;
- repeat words and expressions in a foreign language;
- stare at people around you who sit in cars and smile at them;
- call your old friend you haven’t seen for ages;
- recite poems.
There are many things one can do in a traffic jam. It’s up to you to decide what you will choose.
However, there are things you are not allowed to do in a traffic jam. Let’s have a look at them.
Dont’s in a traffic jam
A traffic jam is a very unpleasant phenomenon that is quite stressful. However, you can’t escape it. You can’t even leave your car. Otherwise, it will be towed and you will be fined. Moreover, you will have to cough it up for parking. Thus, you have to hang in there. We recommend you not to get carried away when choosing any of the aforementioned activities since it makes a driver vulnerable which results in lower focus on road traffic situation.
In a traffic jam you are not allowed to:
- get annoyed and grumble at what’s going on around. Keep in mind that your negative emotions won’t make the traffic jam go away while your mood will be completely ruined;
- respond aggression to the aggression of people around you: try not to make things worse. Smile a lot and act kindly;
- communicate via social media and chats since they distract your attention increasing the risk of getting into an accident. Otherwise, traffic police will come only by morning and it surely won’t bring you joy;
- blame yourself for improvidence or bad luck;
- feel like this time is irretrievably lost. In fact, a traffic jam allows you to relax for a while, get away from the endless flow of events. Turn the time spent in a traffic jam into a period of unexpected relaxation, take time to rethink some long-standing problem and make a decision.
How to enhance resistance to stress
A traffic jam is an ordinary life situation. There is nothing extreme about that. People should handle any situation with dignity trying not to lose their self-respect and ruin both their health and the health of those who are around. Thus, you should develop your emotional intelligence and enhance your resistance to stress. Otherwise, you risk wearing yourself into a state of emotional exhaustion, helplessness, and despair.
A traffic jam means circumstances which are beyond your capabilities. When you realize it, you stop banging your head against the wheel, pressing the horn, spitting and cursing everyone because of missed opportunities and unfulfilled plans.
Learn to take the situation as it comes. If anyone depends on your presence (rather absence), call this person and tell things have changed. Your anxiety will reduce. Take care of your emotional balance. A traffic jam is no reason to provoke gastric ulcer, diabetes or asthma. Anyhow stress is a result of psychosomatic disorders.
If you have spent hours in a traffic jam and feel you can’t handle emotions, do not go off on your family and friends. Instead, walk to the nearest store and buy yourself a present. As soon as you return home, take a shower (better, contrast). Keep in mind that you should relieve stress in a socially acceptable manner. Swinging a bat never ends well. Take care.
Even if you are stuck in traffic, you should still have an International Driving License. If you have no IDL, you can complete an application form on our website while sitting in a traffic jam.