Sadly, traffic congestion is an almost unavoidable part of a driver's life. What's worse is that this a problem that has only been increasing.
According to the fourth annual traffic index from TomTom, the average car journey took 27 per cent longer in 2013 than it should do if traffic was free flowing. This is an increase from 2012 when the average journey was considered to take 26 per cent longer.
While traffic jams cannot always be avoided, it is worth considering ways to cut your chances of getting caught in a jam if you feel you are at risk of this.
One aspect that drivers may be most surprised to hear is that straying from the main road towards routes that only locals know is not always the best tactic. In fact, TomTom found that drivers who used rat runs lost twice the amount of travel time on average, at 32 per cent, than those who stuck to main roads, who lost approximately 15 per cent.
The best way to avoid getting stuck in traffic as best you can is to keep on top of real time traffic information so that you stay up to date on where the jams are and can plan to avoid them. There are a wide range of phone apps available that can help you with this and Google Maps now has a feature where you can find out which roads are congested as you are planning journeys.
Additionally, considering travel times carefully will help to reduce your chances of getting stuck in traffic jams. It goes without saying that avoiding rush hour traffic is the best way to avoid congestion as this is generally when the number of vehicles on the roads tends to peak. Also, check to find out if there are any events going on in your area that will attract many visitors as this could lead to a build up of cars, so you will want to avoid driving prior to the start and finish of an event.
Posted by Danielle Barge