What You Can Do When Stuck in a Traffic Jam

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Published on: November 13, 2014 Last updated: March 16, 2020


Metro Manila is one of the worst places in the world for car drivers – headache-inducing traffic jams, narrow, damaged roads, disunited public transportation, neglectful pedestrians and many more. Our traffic congestion has become world-renowned in a disgraceful sense.

Every person loses an average of 8 to 12 days per year because of traffic congestion. So aside from killing time on the snail’s pace and wasted energy of your car mostly stuck on first gear, here are things worth doing on your next ride:

Save on Fuel

Switching the engine off can save your fuel but only if traffic is totally not moving for at least a minute or more. Modern cars switch your engine off automatically when you’re stationary – they are built with special starter motors and batteries. So if your car does not have this feature yet, switching your engine off and on causes excess wear on your car and requires some fuel if your restart it.

Watch Out for Accidents

Though unnecessary speed causes major road accidents, inch-by-inch movement of cars causes vehicular mishaps.
Low-speed cars need more caution because slight moves and shifts cause impacts which can cause a collision to vehicles in all your directions. Keep an eye on all directions and as much as possible, keep distant to your fellow drivers, especially if you don’t have a car insurance plan.

Don’t Succumb to Stress

Learning to keep a cool head despite being stressed is as vital as a healthy diet.

As much as possible, keep calm about the situation and divert your focus to other things such as listening to your favorite playlist or reciting your personal prayers. Just make sure you are still being mindful of your surroundings as you are still on the road.

Maximize Your Time

For sure, you don’t want to lose precious hours of your life staring at your non-steering steering wheel stressing out yourself because of the usual heavy traffic. Do not text and drive but you can try to accept and make non-stressful phone calls. This could be the opportunity to call your mother back, congratulate a friend or catch up with your colleagues.

Prepare Yourself Mentally

Instead of being grumpy about your immobility, use this time to clear your head and prepare yourself for the day ahead. If you’re going home, it’s your time to remove work-related stress and transition yourself from a corporate superman to a super dad.

To be brutally honest about it, resolving traffic jams in the Philippines is a long way to go and should be considered a fact of life. There is no point in getting overly stressed and frustrated about it.

What do you usually do when you’re out there and stuck in traffic?

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