Traffic Congestion: Why is it Getting Worse

Rising traffic congestion is an inescapable condition. Harare’s traffic jams are inevitable — they spare no one unless you have a red or blue beacon on your car’s roof and traffic cops clearing the way for you. For many of us in the capital, reaching work, home from work or college on time during the peak traffic hours is a daily struggle. So when you have a meeting to attend an appointment with the doctor School run in the morning, and you are stuck in seemingly never-ending traffic congestion, the situation can get on your nerves. You might end up yelling a few of Shona’ favourite cuss-words at others, and shouting constantly as if it were your birthright. In the end, you will reach your meeting, home college late, distressed and frustrated. If the situation sounds familiar, then be warned: this stress can harm your health. Peak-hour traffic congestion is an inherent result of the way modern societies operate. It stems from the widespread desires of people to pursue certain goals that inevitably overload existing roads and transit systems every day. But everyone hates traffic congestion, and it keeps getting worse, despite attempted remedies. Commuters are often frustrated by policymakers’ inability to do anything about the problem, which poses a significant public policy challenge. Although governments may never be able to eliminate road congestion, there are several ways cities and stakeholders can move to curb it.

The Real Problem

Traffic congestion is not primarily a problem, but rather the solution to our basic mobility problem, which is that too many people want to move at the same time each day. Why? Because the efficient operation of both the economy and school systems requires that people work, go to school, and even run errands during about the same hours so they can interact with each other. That basic requirement cannot be altered without crippling our economy and society. The same problem exists in every major metropolitan area in the world.

In Zimbabwe, the vast majority of people seeking to move during rush hours use private automotive vehicles, for two reasons. One is that most people reside in high-density areas that public transit cannot efficiently serve. The second is that privately-owned vehicles are more comfortable, faster, more private, more convenient in trip timing, and more flexible for doing multiple tasks on one trip than almost any form of public transit. As household incomes rise around the world, more and more people shift from slower, less expensive modes of movement to privately owned cars and trucks.

With 87.9 per cent of Zimbabwe’s daily commuters using private vehicles, and millions wanting to move at the same times of day, Zimbabwe’s basic problem is that its road system cannot handle peak-hour loads without forcing many people to wait in line for that limited road space. Waiting in line is the definition of congestion, and the same condition is found in all growing towns.

Although congestion can seem intolerable, the alternatives would be even worse. Peak-hour congestion is the balancing mechanism that makes it possible for most motorists to pursue other goals they value, including working or sending their children to school at the same time as their peers, living in low-density settlements, and having a wide choice of places to live and work.

Possible Improvements.

Respond more rapidly to traffic-blocking accidents and incidents. Removing accidents and incidents from major roads faster by using roving service e.g. Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance. Peak-hour traffic congestion in almost all large and growing towns is here to stay. It is almost certain to get worse during at least the next few decades, mainly because of rising populations and wealth. This will be true no matter what public and private policies are adopted to combat congestion. Although traffic congestion is inevitable, there are ways to slow the rate at which it intensifies. Several tactics could do that effectively, especially if used in concert, but nothing can eliminate peak-hour traffic congestion from large metropolitan regions here and around the world. 

How to Stress Less in a Traffic Congestion… Stay calm and centred amid bumper-to-bumper chaos.

Traffic congestion is a frequent source of stress, anger and anxiety — and the problem, like your car in traffic congestion, isn’t going anywhere soon.

Spending hours stuck in traffic may take a toll on your health and happiness. Along with the potential for stress, it increases your exposure to traffic-related air pollution. And that, in turn, may raise the risk of having a heart attack or asthma 

Protect Your Health.

The best solution is to steer clear of traffic congestion whenever possible. This can be a challenge if your commute to work or school passes through a high-traffic area. But keep an open mind about possible ways to reschedule or reroute your drive. For example, let’s say you could avoid the worst rush-hour traffic by leaving home an hour earlier, but your work hours aren’t flexible. Maybe you could leave early. 

Be Prepared.

Here are some tips for avoiding traffic jams:

  • Rush hour isn’t just a cute nickname. OK, so the morning and afternoon traffic crunches last for several hours, but they’re still called “rush hour” for a reason — everyone’s on the road and in a hurry to get somewhere. Treat rush hour like bad weather — if you don’t have to go anywhere, stay off the roads when there’s a lot of traffic.
  •  
  • Don’t break the law. You’ve gone 30 feet in 30 minutes and all of a sudden you see people using the shoulders as lanes. Not only is this dangerous, but it’s also illegal and there’s a good chance they’ll get caught — better them forking over a couple of hundred bucks for a ticket than you.
  •  
  • Pay extra attention to zig-zagged. When people have somewhere to be and can’t get there, they can get pretty desperate. They may start switching lanes every 5 seconds or cut you off. Keep checking your windows and mirrors for these serial lane changers. If you can identify them when they’re several cars back, you can be prepared when they get close to you.
  •  
  • Look for an escape. If it is possible to exit the road safely, do it. The longer you stay in the backup, the faster you may lose your patience. Carry a map or GPS unit, or know your route well enough to adjust mid-trip if needed.
  •  
  • Be courteous. Good manners may sound old-school, but common decency is not. Politeness could help you avoid a collision. Traffic congestion often involves multiple lanes merging. Allow people in from a lane that is ending. Speeding up to keep them out increases your chances of crashing and inciting road rage. And if you’re in the lane that is ending, merge when it’s your turn and try to remember to give a “thank-you” wave

Remember That Driving is not a Competition. Karma, fate or what goes around comes around—call it what you will, but there is a lot to be said for showing other road users the same courtesy you expect from them. By making a conscious effort to be a considerate driver and not to go into situations aggressively you will not only take the moral high ground but keep your stress level to a minimum. Take a deep breath rather than brandishing an angry gesture or using your horn. everyone on the road has somewhere to be and by understanding that you will be able to relax and stay calm at the wheel.

Keep your  Distance from Aggressive Drivers… Some drivers simply can’t be Calm at the wheel and take it upon themselves to let this stress out in the form of aggressive reckless driving. encounter one of these stressed-out petrol heads on the road, and you should try to keep your distance, allowing them to pass without losing your cool. The last thing you want is to become embroiled in a road rage incident.

Give Bad Drivers the Benefit of the Doubt…Bad driving can be a bitter pill to swallow, especially if someone has just cut you up, pulled out in front of you or tried to squeeze into a gap in traffic that’s just not there. But, while it can be tempting to give these offenders a quick blast of your horn, it’s better to give them the benefit of the doubt and accept that it was probably just an accident. Show people a little courtesy in moments like this by giving them the space they need to rectify their mistake, and they’ll likely thank you with a quick wave or flash of their hazards, diffusing a potentially angering situation.

Keep Your Car Full of Fuel and in Good Condition…If you’re sat in traffic congestion with the fuel light blinking at you from the dashboard, this is going to do nothing to help your nerves, and you’ll remain stressed to the fuel station. Try to top your car up before you’re running on empty to avoid the stress of having to find a fuel station at a minute’s notice. It’s also a good idea to keep your car in a good condition, ensuring all fluids are topped up regularly so you aren’t suddenly faced with a dashboard warning light or a very dirty windscreen — both of which could send your stress levels through the roof.

Focus on the Consequences…And if all else fails and you still find driving stressful, think about all you stand to lose if you don’t control your temper. Your freedom, perhaps even your job? Think of the bigger picture and take steps to keep your anger in check.

Reduce Your Stress

Once you’ve done what you can to avoid traffic congestion, the next-best solution is to face them with greater equanimity. You can’t control the bottleneck around you, but you can manage your reaction to it. These evidence-based tips help you stay calmer and more centred amid bumper-to-bumper chaos:

  • Inhale, exhale, repeat. When you start gripping the steering wheel like a vice, take some deep breaths. This is not only a proven technique for eliciting relaxation. It’s also simple enough to do behind the wheel.
  • Redefine the situation. Rather than thinking of the traffic snarl as an obstacle to getting where you want to be, tell yourself it’s a welcome respite from work or a golden opportunity to listen to your favourite radio show.
  • Curtail angry reactions. Don’t expect to eliminate every negative feeling. If you feel a flash of annoyance when a driver cuts you off, that’s okay. Notice and accept what you’re feeling in the present moment — and then move on to the next moment. This helps stop yourself from fuming over the other driver’s behaviour, so a split-second of irritation doesn’t turn into full-blown road rage.
  • Quell anxious thoughts. Likewise, if you feel a twinge of worry over being late, approach it with the same mindful attitude   Notice and accept the feeling non-judgmentally, and then let it go. Turn your awareness to what’s happening in the present moment: the sight of vehicles moving (or not) around you, the sound of sirens in the distance, the feel of your foot on the pedals.
  • Put on a happy face. When you’re doing 60km per hour in the fast lane, smile. If you’re able to see the humour in the situation, that’s a great stress reliever. But even if you’re faking the smile, research suggests that going through the motions of smiling may reduce the intensity of your body’s stress response.

Turn On Some Tunes.

Drive Zimbabwe Road Assistance study results to show that music does have charms to soothe the savage driver. “We found that blood pressure increased during the traffic congestion, especially when people listened to aggressive music or no music at all. “ The upshot: Tune in to an easy listening, Sungura/Museve music, Smooth jazz, Mbira or Radio station, depending on what you like. Or create a nice playlist on your flush.

FOR SAFE RELIABLE MOTORING….. Car Problems and Solutions.

You are driving along the highway one day when you find your vehicle slowing down and eventually coming to a halt. You step out of your vehicle to find out what the problem is, but you can’t seem to figure out where the car defects are and what is the cause of these sudden malfunctions. Even the most skilled and competent vehicle owner will experience his fair share of mechanical issues and car problems.

The list of car faults is endless – from flat tyres, unstable steering wheels, and even a faulty engine, there are minor and major car issues that you might or might not be able to resolve on your own.

Reaching the destination safely is the best reward for any motorist! Should you encounter any motoring issues, remember that Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance provides 24/7 Roadside Assistance Service for our Members and the motoring community. Whilst it’s possible to reduce your risk of breakdown, it’s an unfortunate reality that even the most expertly maintained and superbly driven vehicle may break down due to unforeseen circumstances. In these instances, Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance breakdown cover can make all the difference. Call us or  Whatsapp at 0780 579 261/0718 084 297 / 0736 523 424 Email:info@drivezim.co.zw and Join Today. Follow us on  Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/105600827733427  and Twitter https://mobile.twitter.com/DriveZimbabwe  for more tips and guidance on how to keep yourself and your vehicle safe on the roads.

Traffic Congestion: Why is Getting Worse

Rising traffic congestion is an inescapable condition. Harare’s traffic jams are inevitable — they spare no one unless you have a red or blue beacon on your car’s roof and traffic cops clearing the way for you. For many of us in the capital, reaching work, home from work or college on time during the peak traffic hours is a daily struggle. So when you have a meeting to attend an appointment with the doctor School run in the morning, and you are stuck in seemingly never-ending traffic congestion, the situation can get on your nerves. You might end up yelling a few of Shona’ favourite cuss-words at others, and shouting constantly as if it were your birthright. In the end, you will reach your meeting, home college late, distressed and frustrated. If the situation sounds familiar, then be warned: this stress can harm your health. Peak-hour traffic congestion is an inherent result of the way modern societies operate. It stems from the widespread desires of people to pursue certain goals that inevitably overload existing roads and transit systems every day. But everyone hates traffic congestion, and it keeps getting worse, despite attempted remedies. Commuters are often frustrated by policymakers’ inability to do anything about the problem, which poses a significant public policy challenge. Although governments may never be able to eliminate road congestion, there are several ways cities and stakeholders can move to curb it.

The Real Problem

Traffic congestion is not primarily a problem, but rather the solution to our basic mobility problem, which is that too many people want to move at the same time each day. Why? Because the efficient operation of both the economy and school systems requires that people work, go to school, and even run errands during about the same hours so they can interact with each other. That basic requirement cannot be altered without crippling our economy and society. The same problem exists in every major metropolitan area in the world.

In Zimbabwe, the vast majority of people seeking to move during rush hours use private automotive vehicles, for two reasons. One is that most people reside in high-density areas that public transit cannot efficiently serve. The second is that privately-owned vehicles are more comfortable, faster, more private, more convenient in trip timing, and more flexible for doing multiple tasks on one trip than almost any form of public transit. As household incomes rise around the world, more and more people shift from slower, less expensive modes of movement to privately owned cars and trucks.

With 87.9 per cent of Zimbabwe’s daily commuters using private vehicles, and millions wanting to move at the same times of day, Zimbabwe’s basic problem is that its road system cannot handle peak-hour loads without forcing many people to wait in line for that limited road space. Waiting in line is the definition of congestion, and the same condition is found in all growing towns.

Although congestion can seem intolerable, the alternatives would be even worse. Peak-hour congestion is the balancing mechanism that makes it possible for most motorists to pursue other goals they value, including working or sending their children to school at the same time as their peers, living in low-density settlements, and having a wide choice of places to live and work.

Possible Improvements.

Respond more rapidly to traffic-blocking accidents and incidents. Removing accidents and incidents from major roads faster by using roving service e.g. Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance. Peak-hour traffic congestion in almost all large and growing towns is here to stay. It is almost certain to get worse during at least the next few decades, mainly because of rising populations and wealth. This will be true no matter what public and private policies are adopted to combat congestion. Although traffic congestion is inevitable, there are ways to slow the rate at which it intensifies. Several tactics could do that effectively, especially if used in concert, but nothing can eliminate peak-hour traffic congestion from large metropolitan regions here and around the world. 

How to Stress Less in a Traffic Congestion… Stay calm and centred amid bumper-to-bumper chaos.

Traffic congestion is a frequent source of stress, anger and anxiety — and the problem, like your car in traffic congestion, isn’t going anywhere soon.

Spending hours stuck in traffic may take a toll on your health and happiness. Along with the potential for stress, it increases your exposure to traffic-related air pollution. And that, in turn, may raise the risk of having a heart attack or asthma 

Protect Your Health.

The best solution is to steer clear of traffic congestion whenever possible. This can be a challenge if your commute to work or school passes through a high-traffic area. But keep an open mind about possible ways to reschedule or reroute your drive. For example, let’s say you could avoid the worst rush-hour traffic by leaving home an hour earlier, but your work hours aren’t flexible. Maybe you could leave early. 

Be Prepared.

Here are some tips for avoiding traffic jams:

  • Rush hour isn’t just a cute nickname. OK, so the morning and afternoon traffic crunches last for several hours, but they’re still called “rush hour” for a reason — everyone’s on the road and in a hurry to get somewhere. Treat rush hour like bad weather — if you don’t have to go anywhere, stay off the roads when there’s a lot of traffic.
  •  
  • Don’t break the law. You’ve gone 30 feet in 30 minutes and all of a sudden you see people using the shoulders as lanes. Not only is this dangerous, but it’s also illegal and there’s a good chance they’ll get caught — better them forking over a couple of hundred bucks for a ticket than you.
  •  
  • Pay extra attention to zig-zagged. When people have somewhere to be and can’t get there, they can get pretty desperate. They may start switching lanes every 5 seconds or cut you off. Keep checking your windows and mirrors for these serial lane changers. If you can identify them when they’re several cars back, you can be prepared when they get close to you.
  •  
  • Look for an escape. If it is possible to exit the road safely, do it. The longer you stay in the backup, the faster you may lose your patience. Carry a map or GPS unit, or know your route well enough to adjust mid-trip if needed.
  •  
  • Be courteous. Good manners may sound old-school, but common decency is not. Politeness could help you avoid a collision. Traffic congestion often involves multiple lanes merging. Allow people in from a lane that is ending. Speeding up to keep them out increases your chances of crashing and inciting road rage. And if you’re in the lane that is ending, merge when it’s your turn and try to remember to give a “thank-you” wave

Remember That Driving is not a Competition. Karma, fate or what goes around comes around—call it what you will, but there is a lot to be said for showing other road users the same courtesy you expect from them. By making a conscious effort to be a considerate driver and not to go into situations aggressively you will not only take the moral high ground but keep your stress level to a minimum. Take a deep breath rather than brandishing an angry gesture or using your horn. everyone on the road has somewhere to be and by understanding that you will be able to relax and stay calm at the wheel.

Keep your  Distance from Aggressive Drivers… Some drivers simply can’t be Calm at the wheel and take it upon themselves to let this stress out in the form of aggressive reckless driving. encounter one of these stressed-out petrol heads on the road, and you should try to keep your distance, allowing them to pass without losing your cool. The last thing you want is to become embroiled in a road rage incident.

Give Bad Drivers the Benefit of the Doubt…Bad driving can be a bitter pill to swallow, especially if someone has just cut you up, pulled out in front of you or tried to squeeze into a gap in traffic that’s just not there. But, while it can be tempting to give these offenders a quick blast of your horn, it’s better to give them the benefit of the doubt and accept that it was probably just an accident. Show people a little courtesy in moments like this by giving them the space they need to rectify their mistake, and they’ll likely thank you with a quick wave or flash of their hazards, diffusing a potentially angering situation.

Keep Your Car Full of Fuel and in Good Condition…If you’re sat in traffic congestion with the fuel light blinking at you from the dashboard, this is going to do nothing to help your nerves, and you’ll remain stressed to the fuel station. Try to top your car up before you’re running on empty to avoid the stress of having to find a fuel station at a minute’s notice. It’s also a good idea to keep your car in a good condition, ensuring all fluids are topped up regularly so you aren’t suddenly faced with a dashboard warning light or a very dirty windscreen — both of which could send your stress levels through the roof.

Focus on the Consequences…And if all else fails and you still find driving stressful, think about all you stand to lose if you don’t control your temper. Your freedom, perhaps even your job? Think of the bigger picture and take steps to keep your anger in check.

Reduce Your Stress

Once you’ve done what you can to avoid traffic congestion, the next-best solution is to face them with greater equanimity. You can’t control the bottleneck around you, but you can manage your reaction to it. These evidence-based tips help you stay calmer and more centred amid bumper-to-bumper chaos:

  • Inhale, exhale, repeat. When you start gripping the steering wheel like a vice, take some deep breaths. This is not only a proven technique for eliciting relaxation. It’s also simple enough to do behind the wheel.
  • Redefine the situation. Rather than thinking of the traffic snarl as an obstacle to getting where you want to be, tell yourself it’s a welcome respite from work or a golden opportunity to listen to your favourite radio show.
  • Curtail angry reactions. Don’t expect to eliminate every negative feeling. If you feel a flash of annoyance when a driver cuts you off, that’s okay. Notice and accept what you’re feeling in the present moment — and then move on to the next moment. This helps stop yourself from fuming over the other driver’s behaviour, so a split-second of irritation doesn’t turn into full-blown road rage.
  • Quell anxious thoughts. Likewise, if you feel a twinge of worry over being late, approach it with the same mindful attitude   Notice and accept the feeling non-judgmentally, and then let it go. Turn your awareness to what’s happening in the present moment: the sight of vehicles moving (or not) around you, the sound of sirens in the distance, the feel of your foot on the pedals.
  • Put on a happy face. When you’re doing 60km per hour in the fast lane, smile. If you’re able to see the humour in the situation, that’s a great stress reliever. But even if you’re faking the smile, research suggests that going through the motions of smiling may reduce the intensity of your body’s stress response.

Turn On Some Tunes.

Drive Zimbabwe Road Assistance study results to show that music does have charms to soothe the savage driver. “We found that blood pressure increased during the traffic congestion, especially when people listened to aggressive music or no music at all. “ The upshot: Tune in to an easy listening, Sungura/Museve music, Smooth jazz, Mbira or Radio station, depending on what you like. Or create a nice playlist on your flush.

FOR SAFE RELIABLE MOTORING….. Car Problems and Solutions.

You are driving along the highway one day when you find your vehicle slowing down and eventually coming to a halt. You step out of your vehicle to find out what the problem is, but you can’t seem to figure out where the car defects are and what is the cause of these sudden malfunctions. Even the most skilled and competent vehicle owner will experience his fair share of mechanical issues and car problems.

The list of car faults is endless – from flat tyres, unstable steering wheels, and even a faulty engine, there are minor and major car issues that you might or might not be able to resolve on your own.

Reaching the destination safely is the best reward for any motorist! Should you encounter any motoring issues, remember that Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance provides 24/7 Roadside Assistance Service for our Members and the motoring community. Whilst it’s possible to reduce your risk of breakdown, it’s an unfortunate reality that even the most expertly maintained and superbly driven vehicle may break down due to unforeseen circumstances. In these instances, Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance breakdown cover can make all the difference. Call us or  Whatsapp at 0780 579 261/0718 084 297 / 0736 523 424 Email:info@drivezim.co.zw and Join Today. Follow us on  Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/105600827733427  and Twitter https://mobile.twitter.com/DriveZimbabwe  for more tips and guidance on how to keep yourself and your vehicle safe on the roads.

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