One of the most challenging experiences as a driver is having to navigate through heavy traffic. The continuous slowdown can be frustrating and stressful, as a usually short trip is suddenly turned into an extensive wait.
And, of course, there is always somewhere to go. Toronto is known for being a busy metropolis and avoiding traffic entirely is almost impossible. To make your driving experience through the crazy roads a bit less painful, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind to ensure your safety on the road.
- In heavy traffic, slow down and practice patience. You won't get to your destination faster by pushing everyone else - instead you become more dangerous and make yourself more anxious.
- Make sure to leave some distance between you and the car in front. This will help you avoid an accident in case of a sudden stop.
- If you can, avoid high-volume driving times.
- Be a defensive driver by being extra alert for sudden and unexpected moves by other drivers.
- Don't get worked up into a rage. It won't help, and may cause more problems. Practice meditation instead (calm breathing for example) and reflect on whatever is nice around you (the pretty clouds, the roadside flowers, that interesting building, your favorite song, a flying hawk).
- Exit the highway if it makes you too anxious and/or nervous.
- If an accident is to blame for the traffic, as you pass by it, try not to slow down and survey the scene. Drivers will often slow dramatically just to see what happened, which forces an unnecessary slowing for everyone behind. As you pass by an accident scene and reach the end of congestion, simply accelerate back up to speed and go on your way.
Driving through traffic is frustrating. However, your handling of the situation can make a significant impact on your stress level. By accepting the inevitable slow down and driving in a consistent and courteous manner, you can make the experience much more manageable and ensure your safety and that of the other road users as well.