Nothing puts a damper on your road trip like heavy traffic.
Traffic can become more and more aggravating as you watch the minutes on your ETA rise. Heavy traffic can also mean you’ll miss out on the plans you had once you arrive at your destination.
Here are some of the best ways to avoid heavy traffic on the road to keep you punctual and calm on your next road trip.
Timing Is Everything
The first step to keeping your timing on schedule is to avoid rush hours. Plan your travel so you won’t be driving in highly populated areas during morning or afternoon rush hour when everyone is commuting to and from work.
Sometimes, driving at night can be the best option to find clear roadways and avoid commonly congested highways. Although, remember that driving at night can come with heightened risks, so be cautious if you choose to drive at night.
Rely on Traffic Apps
Before you leave for your trip, download a traffic app that will update you on any accidents or traffic jams in real-time along your route. Some GPS tracking systems can do this and will manipulate your route to avoid any traffic plunders.
Traffic apps such as Waze collect real-time data from drivers who keep the app open while driving. They collect traffic information, which the app then shares with other drivers. These apps also allow other drivers to report any construction, accidents, police stops, or road closures that could be causing heavy traffic.
You should also check the route you intend to take for any ongoing construction or lane closures before leaving. This can allow you to plan and time your trip better to avoid these areas during high traffic times.
Avoid Highly Populated Cities
You are bound to hit a traffic jam when driving through a big city. Before embarking on your trip, find a route that avoids city driving as much as possible. Oftentimes, taking an alternative route or rural backroads can keep you moving without any lengthy traffic stops.
However, remember that during lane closures and accidents, alternative routes can become just as congested as the main road. For this reason, you’ll likely want to prepare a few alternative route options that you can take if needed.
Avoid the Road Altogether
Another way to avoid heavy traffic is to simply avoid traveling by road altogether. When possible, choose to fly or take the train for your vacation travels. While these travel methods aren’t always as accessible as hitting the road, you will not run into any traffic in the air or on the railways.
To further avoid traffic after you’ve reached your destination, you can rely on public transit or ride city bikes and scooters. Public transit must follow a strict schedule, which will keep you from sitting in heavy traffic.
The best ways to avoid heavy traffic on the road during your next road trip include avoiding rush hour, steering clear of highly populated roadways, and using tools like traffic apps and GPS.
Related Read: 7-Day Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Guide