If you’re an owner driver, a long-standing and seemingly unavoidable issue is traffic congestion. Statistics from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute confirm that rush-hour commuters in the United States lose an average or 42 hours each week due to road delays, and it probably isn’t a lot different in the UK.
Understandably, the worst of these delays occur when September arrives and the school traffic dominates the roads once again (this can be particularly frustrating after you’ve enjoyed two peaceful months on quieter roads over the summer period).
This article will provide you with some much-needed reassurance and advice concerning this traffic trauma.
Considering Alternative Routes
Of course, avoiding the congestion altogether is an all-too-obvious solution, but the way in which you go about it may not be quite so clear. If you know you’ll be passing through a high-traffic area, perhaps consider taking the usually slower roads rather than the motorway, as this could work to your advantage in the long run. Planning ahead is another great way to stay away from congestion – if there’s a big event going on in your area, do a bit of research before you leave and use alternative roads if at all possible.
You could also leave earlier than usual and spend your extra time doing whatever takes your fancy: head to a nearby gym, have a morning coffee with friends or simply chill out in your van. This small change can potentially make a huge difference.
Like anyone on the roads, it’s easy for an owner driver working in the delivery industry to become frustrated while stuck in a traffic jam. Horn-honking, shouting and indecent gestures have become quite a typical way of exerting this annoyance, but can often result in even more distress. It is highly recommended that you keep your cool and avoid trying to weave around other vehicles. Aggression can easily lead to irresponsible driving, which is not good practice for future commutes.
While following slow-moving vehicles it can be tempting to get distracted by a mobile device. Keeping focussed on the road is of utmost importance even when in a traffic jam, so be sure to keep your eyes ahead and just use the radio if you need entertainment. It is also important that you keep to the appropriate distance behind the vehicle in front of you. Not being aware of this can cause further accidents, resulting in further delays.
One of the best ways to deal with a traffic delay is to just embrace it and relax. Put on some of your favourite songs or an audiobook, have a few emergency snacks stashed away and just try to chill out and enjoy the ride. After all, everyone else is in the same boat.
So, if you’re an owner driver with an intense hatred for traffic jams, hopefully these tips will come in useful when you’re dealing with your next delay on the road.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day owner driver courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.