Mistakes You Should Avoid in Traffic Jams

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traffic jam mistakes

Traffic jams are becoming increasingly popular in many cities around Nigeria. For no sensible reason most times, a large gridlock just builds up, holding everyone on the same spot for hours. Since this is becoming more of the norm than the exception, it is important to strategize how to face this daily stress.

When in a ruthless traffic jam, there are some mistakes you should avoid. We have provided you with some useful tips on how to avoid such mistakes.

1. Leaving Your Vehicle Unlocked 

It is easy for traffic thieves and robbers to spot an unlocked vehicle door. Do not provide them with the opportunity to steal whatever you have in your car.

2. Try Not to Patronise Hawkers

This is going to be an uphill task for motorists who find themselves stranded, hungry and thirsty in a nasty traffic jam after a draining day at work. However, it is better you stock up before getting on the road so that you don’t expose yourself to the perils of traffic robbers who sometimes pretend to be innocent hawkers.

While rolling down your window to pay and receive your item, a gun can be pointed at you and this is the last thing you need after spending hours trapped in traffic.

3. Advertising Your Valuables

Some drivers are used to spreading their valuables on the back seat of the car. In a traffic jam, this a sumptuous yet naive call to robbers especially at night.

Lock whatever you have in the boot and keep your smartphone away from public view as much as you can. This is not the time you want to begin scrolling through online content to kill time. Doing that could attract the wrong attention to you and your valuables.

4. Road Rage

Allowing your frustration to degenerate into road rage is something that you want to avoid while you are stuck in a traffic jam.

Once you are trapped in traffic, you should prepare your mind that vehicular movement will be slow and no amount of aggressiveness will take you out of the traffic if it does not clear up.

Instead, showing excessive aggressiveness might end up isolating you from people who might have otherwise allowed you to come into their lane.

5. Driving Leisurely

A traffic jam is not another opportunity to check your news feeds or relax in your car. Rather, it is time to drive as carefully and as defensively as possible.

In a heavy traffic situation, other road users are bound to lose their cool and there will be risky manoeuvring and attempts to squeeze into any available space.

If you drive leisurely at this point, you will either be shoved back in the queue or hit by another adventurous driver. Therefore, drive defensively.

6. Failing to Take Back Roads

The highways are known for the heaviest traffic during rush hours. One way of avoiding stop-and-go traffic is to take back roads.

In a case where you find yourself on an unfamiliar road, use your navigation app on your smartphone to look for back roads. These back roads are usually reliable alternative routes but they don’t provide the same straight short drive that the highways do.

However, if they are not clogged, the back roads can ease the stress of traffic even if it makes you drive some extra miles out of your way.

7. Driving Distractedly 

Distracted driving is just as dangerous in traffic jams as it is on a free road. Do not lose your guard because you are stuck in traffic.

No doubt, the temptation to focus on something else in a traffic jam is high but one of the causes of traffic accidents and collisions is a lack of focus during this time.

You can find other ways to entertain yourself like listening to the radio, music or audiobook, but do not check your phone or lose sight of the road.

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A Nigeria-based writer and blogger who has written and edited for top brands including The SUN, Punch, Newswatch, Pulse.ng, Bigsam Media, Nigerian Bulletin, Swish Interativ, Hello Nigeria, National LIFE, iCampus, Jobberman and Cheki.