Ways to Avoid Dealing With Rush Hour Traffic

March 15th, 2013 by

Rush hour traffic is absolutely the worst. You’re tired before you go to work, tired after a long day, and don’t want to deal with bumper-to-bumper traffic and everyone driving like a nut. It’s enough to give you a horrible headache. While there’s certainly more congestion at these times of day, there are ways to avoid it.

Plan Out Your Morning and Leave Earlier

A good tip to avoid some of the traffic is to get an earlier start. Try out different times—leaving five minutes earlier, 15 minutes earlier—to see what might be better. In order to do this without losing any sleep, you need to plan out your morning. This means packing up your briefcase and setting your clothes out the night before. Rather than taking the time to eat a leisurely breakfast, pack it to go.

Leaving Work

I once had a job where they let me work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and I never had to deal with rush hour traffic. If your bosses are nice, consider switching to a work schedule that will let you leave earlier and, if that’s not the case, leave a little later. Leaving at 5:00 p.m. is going to guarantee the worst traffic because that’s when everyone leaves. You were going to relax when you got home, so just bring a book to work or pop in a TV show on your computer. Better yet, you could join a gym near work. Even leaving 15 minutes later could help.

Change Your Route

Some roads are just terrible, no matter what. Check Google maps or ask a coworker for alternate routes. After work, I used to take a major road home. The speed limit was high, but the traffic moved at a crawl, taking about 15 minutes to make a left turn through one intersection. Instead, I found an alternative route: the speed limit was much lower, but it had so little traffic that it ended up taking much less time, and was less stressful.

If you do get stuck on a highway and there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of back road alternatives, consider changing where you get on the highway. The most congested parts tend to be at toll ways, so consider entering after one.