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How to Avoid Traffic Jams

With a little bit of planning, you can avoid a lot of blood-pressure-raising traffic messes.


  • Step 1: Avoid rush hour If at all possible, don’t drive from six to ten in the morning and between four and seven at night.
  • Step 2: Plan ahead Plan your route ahead of time. If you’re traveling during a peak time, you may want to use back roads instead of crowded highways.
  • TIP: Online driving-direction sites often let you choose a 'no highway' option.
  • Step 3: Know alternatives When planning your route, research two or three alternate routes in case there’s a traffic tie-up.
  • TIP: Familiarize yourself with how roads connect with your primary and alternative routes in case you have to make a change while driving.
  • Step 4: Get traffic updates Check traffic reports just before you hit the road and adjust your route accordingly. Many major cities have updated traffic information available for free over the Internet.
  • Step 5: Listen to the radio Local radio stations often provide traffic updates on a regular basis. Tuning in to these updates can help navigate traffic jams as they happen.
  • Step 6: GPS-based devices and services available to many mobile phones can keep you informed about traffic problems lurking ahead.
  • Step 7: Take the train Switch to public transportation whenever you can. You’ll save money, aggravation, and the environment--and you can read the paper -- all at once!
  • FACT: The average American driver spends nearly 38 hours a year cooling his jets in traffic jams.

You Will Need

  • Time to plan
  • Traffic reports
  • GPS service

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