Author: Jillian Joseph
The commute: everyone has to suffer through it before making it to the office. If you live in Washington, DC it should come as no surprise to you that the region suffers from the worst traffic congestion in the United States, surging well ahead of Chicago and Los Angeles (ranked second and third, respectively) according to an annual study conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University. With a yearly commute that is twice as long as the nation's average, D.C. drivers waste 74 hours (more than three of every 365 days!) sitting in traffic.
Factor in fluctuating gas prices, cash-only cabs, the 18% D.C. parking tax increase that went into effect in October of last year (not to mention exorbitant parking garage rates) and the psychological distress of sitting at a standstill while workers attempt to repair potholes on a Friday during rush hour – it’s no wonder the average commuter dreads traveling to and from work. So here are a few tips to make your driving commute less time-consuming and ultimately less stressful:
- Be aware of accidents and construction so that you may find alternate routes.
- Listen to an audio file, podcast, or book on tape – they’re stimulating and will prevent you from dying of boredom.
- Stay hydrated and keep healthy snacks in the car in case you’re stuck for long periods of time or unable to stop for food.
- Meditate. Turn off the radio and take time to relax or reflect. This could be the only time of day that's really your own - when you aren’t overwhelmed with outside input.
- Carpool. Even if you don’t know anyone in your neighborhood, there are dozens of websites and message boards for those seeking to connect to other carpoolers.
- It may seem obvious, but the best way to avoid traffic is to opt for public transportation.
Stay tuned for our next blog post with tips for metro travelers in this three-part commute series. Safe traveling!