How to deal with heavy traffic

How to deal with heavy traffic

Updated on June 21 2024

METRO MANILA, Updated August 5, 2022 – Heavy traffic in Metro Manila is a perennial problem.

Two years after the start of the COVID-19, the government loosened community restrictions in the metro. Although that's great news for the economy, traffic conditions also went back to normal and became worse when authorities allowed the resumption of face-to-face classes.

Causes of heavy traffic

Getting stuck in heavy traffic is indeed frustrating.

But it’s part of normal life in metropolitan settings like Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao. The worst traffic gridlock is usually in the capital city, where activities are busiest among city dwellers.

Heavy traffic jams can be caused by some major factors that are typical in city life:

  1. A collision on the road
  2. Road construction or pavement improvement
  3. Rush hour (in and out of work or school)
  4. Holiday sales
  5. Sudden heavy downpours aggravated by clogged drainage
  6. Public events like festivals, parades, processions and rallies

How to handle heavy traffic

We all know that traffic is inevitable, but can be manageable with the right attitude and good driving habits.

To make your driving experience less stressful, here are some tips for dealing with traffic congestion.

Drive early and time it right

There’s no better idea to avoid traffic congestion than to drive early and plan ahead of time.

Usually, morning rush hours in Metro Manila are from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Timing your drives much sooner can help you prevent the worst crowding and be at your appointment or destination ahead of time without hassle.

Listen to something relaxing

A podcast, the modern version of radio, can soothe your mind while waiting to move in traffic.

You can also play some music that can help you calm down and move past the stress.

Take alternate routes or back roads

To do this, get a traffic situation first or use a navigation app on your phone to be certain that you can pass easily along alternative routes without any hassle.

Drive defensively or proactively

This is your best weapon for dealing with heavy traffic.

Don’t brake or accelerate frequently or suddenly as this can lead to collisions. Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you. And keep your cool when other motorists will get you cut off or aggressively weave through lanes.

If possible, keep your fuel tank full

Nothing beats early preparation and anticipation.

To avoid inconvenience, try to top up your car’s fuel before running to prevent the stress of finding a gas station. It also helps to keep your car in good shape so that it won’t stall in the middle of heavy traffic.

With these in mind, you can minimize the overall stress in dealing with a traffic jam.

Don’t use your horns and stay in one lane

As a rule, never use your horn in heavy traffic as it disturbs other motorists and serves no purpose at all since everyone is at a standstill.

Also, pick a lane and stay in it instead of scanning for a faster route. Show courtesy to other drivers to avoid anxiety and stress.

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Automart.PH Senior Content Creator VJ Bacungan contributed to this story.