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Old 1st June 2016, 09:50   #16
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Default re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Since we are in the same city i very well concur with you. Before shifting my base from Mumbai to Pune 2 years back, i had to commute 60Km both ways with mixed conditions of dense traffic and free roads. However now it has been reduced to 6 km one way thankfully. In due course of time I have learnt how to tackle these issues and could suggest a few pointers-
1- Get an automatic, PERIOD. Dump the Indica. I have an Scross 1.6 which is a bit painful in traffic. I will be buying a low cost automatic hopefully by next year since i commute twice or thrice a month to Mumbai and buying only a small automatic didn't make sense for me.
2- Strictly AVOID rock or loud music. I prefer to listen to gazals,devotional songs or some nice classics, soothes my nerves. I have stopped listening to Fm radios nowadays especially in Pune since it's only ads and constant bickering.
3-AC definitely. Nowadays i hate commuting on my motorcycle. I prefer to commute in a nice and comfortable AC rather than sweating it out with my helmet and riding gear on.
4- If you don't feel like driving just DON'T. If I need to goto Hinjewadi i just hire an Uber and sit at the back comfortably and have a nice nap for the 45 min commute.
5- Last but not the least which has definitely helped me- Leave early to office,leave early for home just to beat the mad traffic.
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Old 1st June 2016, 10:04   #17
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Default re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Originally Posted by capslock View Post
What would be your advice?
Hello, fellow sufferer.

My daily bike commute is Kothrud - Kharadi - Kothrud, a distance that varies from 22 - 25 kms, depending on which route you take. It's not so bad in the morning as I leave home early, but just imagine how it would be on Nagar Rd, Jungli Maharaj Rd, Karve Rd from 6 PM onwards.

So, I don't have any advice for you, but I hope I've done my good deed for the day by making you feel that your situation isn't so bad after all.

Everything's relative, isn't it?

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Old 1st June 2016, 12:37   #18
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Default re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

I have a few ideas for you:
1. Exercise and become fit so you stop worrying about your knee
2. Change your job/ home location to make them closer
3. Migrate to a less congested city/ country (things only get worse as time progresses).
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Old 1st June 2016, 13:25   #19
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

When I first learned to drive, I was irritated by the sheer lunacy and suicide missions that people in today's vehicles attempt to do. That was what I thought about driving in the traffic. At that time, I have driven my maruti 800 in traffic as well as on highway and I enjoyed having the privilege to drive. And my father used to always chant the mantra, why are you in such a hurry. Why don't you let them go. I used to counter him telling that it is my right of way and it is he who should stop.

Slowly I started getting introduced to the world of racing simulators. I wanted to understand how to really drift a car and for that I installed Real racing 3 on my phone because it was the best simulated experience of real driving on android. And after months of playing the game, I started tackling how real players blocked my way in the game. And that gyaan transformed me into a traffic racer. I knew when and how a biker or an auto would block me and so I would accelerate fast and put my car beside him negating him of the chance. I was damn aggressive and I cut everyone's tails. The difference was massive. I used to do a 20kms stretch in 1 hour and now I do it in 40minutes in the same conditions.

I followed the practice for sometime till I had my longest drive in my life. There was an unexpected death. All in all, it was close to 1500kms in 24 hours that I drove that too mostly on the state highways and in peak rush hour in cities. The aggressive driving took a toll on me along with other things.

The next time I went out, I took a break from the aggressive driving and drove sedately. I knew at the back of my mind that I could be the fastest one to the point. But the less stress of driving because of the relaxed nature was soothing. And later I was a passenger in a car with a 18 year old as driver and his father up front. And that kid was looking at an auto driver seriously and honking at him while he was speaking on the phone looking left and taking a right turn. His father told him to quit getting angry because the roads is littered with people with a wish to die. We should just ensure that he does not die under our car. And that we are not the police nor the law system to punish them. These were enlightening.

And then I realized that there are no prizes for getting first to our destination. Getting there safe is important. My advice to you is simple.

1. Understand the mentality and predict the behavior of people. This will save you from heart attack everytime someone jumps into your way. If it helps, play real racing 3 for 3 months so that you are familiar with racing techniques, understanding mentality of drivers and how they can swerve into your path causing accidents etc.
2. Remember that there are no prizes for getting there first. Getting there safe is important. So, keep calm and stay cool.
3. To help your case of maintaining calm, get a car that suits you. In your case, it is the hyundai Eon. Even alto 800 has good visibility. Check that out as well. Point is to have a car you are confident with driving. For me Maruti 800 is the best because I can see the bonnet and so I know the exact dimensions of my vehicle.
4. Also listen to calm and soothing music to help getting peace.

Driving is a beautiful experience. Take a drive on a peaceful road to get good confidence. All the best

-Aveem Ashfaq

Last edited by tsk1979 : 2nd June 2016 at 15:26. Reason: typo fixed
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Old 1st June 2016, 14:03   #20
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Fantastic replies & suggestions. Just throwing in my 2 paise:
  • I used to travel 14 km to work in the direction of rush-hour traffic. With time, the traffic got worse. Solution: Leave early. I'd leave just under 8 a.m. and used to LOVE high-revving the City Vtec all the way. No traffic, not even traffic lights. At 8 a.m., the drive took me 20 minutes. At 9 a.m., it would be an hour.
  • MUSIC! Listen, listen, listen. Music touches your soul. Invest a little time in building a music library with tracks you really like (or use Spotify etc.).
  • Get an AT!
  • On days when the traffic really bothers you, ride a 2-wheeler or use an Uber / Ola. From the back seat, you could read / work / play.
  • Workout or practice yoga. Both strengthen + calm the mind.
  • Find a job closer to home .
  • Carpool. Take turns driving.
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Old 1st June 2016, 14:14   #21
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Originally Posted by capslock View Post

3. Don't drive. Just ride.
4. Give up driving, you are not worth it. Use public transport.
My opinion: Never give up. With all the conditions you have put up to not drive, bring out a set of condition when you would definitely love to drive and hit the road. As you said, you don't like to drive on weekends or long holidays. My suggestion is what about Friday and Saturday night? I am not suggesting a night long drive, but you definitely can go out for a peaceful drive till Lonavla or Mahabaleswar and take a U-turn, if that all is possible.

You can try watching more car movies, some how the confidence of Statham in Transporter might grow on you !!
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Old 1st June 2016, 15:09   #22
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

I stay just 2 kms from my workplace. Despite that, I have to drive to work. 2 wheelers are a strict NO at home. There is no footpath or a walkway that I could use. And when there are three IT companies on that stretch, it just adds to the misery.

There are tens of cabs coming out these MNC's every minute which straight-away enter the bottleneck road. Apart from that, taxi drivers line-up outside on the road waiting for their passengers to come. And to top it all, the infamous 2 wheeler menace! All-in-all, it takes me 30-35 minutes to get home on a regular day. And if the weather-Gods aren't kind, you're DONE.

I drive a Wagon-R, which was bought specially to face the traffic (The odo clocks at 16xxx kms after 4.5 years). But other than its size and ease to maneuver in congested traffic, its not a happy ride. Its urge to upshift to the 2nd gear at speeds of <10kmph is just annoying; especially when you have to cover a gap quickly in bumper-to-bumper traffic. With the A/C on, you feel the 1000cc car struggle till 1,800 rpm and then there is a sudden surge to zoom.

And the Metro work is going to start here soon. Feeling sick already
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Old 1st June 2016, 15:16   #23
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

I have learned to drive very sedately, no sudden acceleration or brakes. I let people cut across, just ignore them. There is no point in cursing them and getting your BP high. No matter how you drive, the time difference between rash driving and sedate driving won't be more than 10mins/hour, maybe less. When ever possible i let people cross the road or even let the traffic move if there are no lights in junction. I find driving this way much calmer and better experience. Few people have told that i drive very slow or i have much patient while driving, not sure if thats compliment
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Old 1st June 2016, 15:21   #24
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Interesting thread. Thanks for creating the same and inviting inputs and comments from fellow Team-BHPians.

We have all gone through and we do go through this pain on a daily basis don't we ??? Especially when you're living in urban areas where city planning is either poor or non-existent in many cases.

There're always things you can do like, starting early, looking for alternate routes even tough they are longer, invest in an automatic, etc. However, there are times when one cannot afford to change for an AT or as in most cases cannot avoid traffic situations. Would like to share some thoughts from my side which has helped me over the years, hope it helps.

1. Inner Peace : Remember the beloved Panda. One has to make peace with the situation that is just not in your control. If all fellow motorists exercise caution, have patience and drive sedately at congested traffic situations, drive would be that much more peaceful. Let's all start with ourselves first.

I remember times when if a co-motorist would cut across, mostly taxi drivers, would chase them, cut across and sometimes even give a mouthful, getting more in return. Don't forget what they are capable of. Then one fine day, same thing happened when my dad was in the front seat. After a while, he just said, I always thought you had a stable mind and sorry to see that you're losing it. Only then it dawned on me, what the heck am I doing. Just for a moment I thought, I was getting so frustrated with a short commute. Imagine the taxiwalas who do it day in and out and their livelihood depends on it with all the time constraints they have. Immediately made peace with myself. Just relax, let go, no road rage at any cost.

2. Roll up all windows with the AC on. This way you're protecting yourself from all the dust and pollution. Breathing fresh air (on a relative note) always has a positive impact on the body and mind.

3. Invest in a decent music system or if you're not too particular about the finer nuances of sound, stock audio is good enough in most cases. Play music of your choice. This and point number 2 have the biggest impact. You're insulated from the annoying honks. This I've found has the biggest impact towards maintaining calm in tight traffic conditions and annoying co-motorists.

4. My car doesn't have Bluetooth enabled music system. So I've a Bluetooth receiver that is available for a decent price to make & receive calls. Fits nicely onto the sun visor. When I'm stuck in traffic, I utilize the time to make calls to near and dear ones. This way you are keeping yourself busy as well as staying in touch with the people who matter to you most. This has helped a lot.

5. Not sure if this point should be advised but will share it anyway. If the cards don't come with tinted glasses invest in sun protection film. We get almost transparent grades of films these days. This way we can protect ourselves from that burning sensation when the sun hits us hard through the glass and also not get noticed from cops for violation of rules. Remember, any sort of film however transparent they are, is actually considered illegal.

6. Keep yourself decently hydrated. Have fresh water always in the car and take a sip or two when you're stuck. Sounds crazy but sometimes I pick up some snacks (mostly evening times) when you're more or less certain about congested traffic. Time pass , short eat along with some good music at times. But make sure, you keep the car clean and don't leave any food items in the car. Else will attract rat trouble.

Drive Safe & Happy Motoring. Cheers !!!
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Old 1st June 2016, 15:22   #25
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Originally Posted by capslock View Post
How do you manage to go home with smile on your face..........
Having recently shifted home which has increased my daily commute to 45+ kms, i can relate to your situation. I also stay in outskirts and drive into the city, that too, during peak hours. One thing that i had realised and grown to depend upon these days is music. I had spent some time, thought about various songs that i would like to listen daily and started compiling them. It just makes the whole driving experience better. I always drive with windows rolled up and 100% ac, so with some soft music playing in the car, i had observed that even my driving style has become much composed and smooth. Earlier music never used to matter much to me; infact i had done outstation trips of upto 700 kms oneway without even carrying an USB for playing music. But in the last couple of months, i had realised that music can make the entire experience better.

Other than that, i really like driving my car (swift), be it dense city traffic or open highways. The way it drives even after 3.5 years, still puts a smile to my face. Yes, driving in city traffic can cause much stress, but i feel it is still the better option compared to other alternatives like public transport / company cab.
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Old 1st June 2016, 15:26   #26
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Talking Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

First, I would suggest you to use the Hyundai more often to commute to office, as the way you have put it, it simply sounds more convenient

I am travelling around 60-70kms everyday to-fro from office for over an year now. In the early months, it was really painful driving everyday and the frustration would either morph into road-rage or would simply leak into the professional and personal matters. I finally got a solution after trying various alternates to the commute
1 simple solution for commute to office is Carpool and not the pay-in and take the back seat kind but the drive sharing where poolers have their own cars and drive alternatively. 3 good things about this:
- It reduces the stress of driving everyday
- No money problems
- Chatter Company for the commute
As your office is close by, you can find numerous commuters which share the same pain and you can organize a pool.

2nd the drive in city traffic on weekend, well that is unavoidable with the family priorities. All I can suggest is to get a good ICE and enjoy the drive with music and obviously maintain your car
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Old 1st June 2016, 15:34   #27
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Originally Posted by capslock View Post
How do you manage to go home with smile on your face (If you are one like my friends or relatives)? Is there anyone else like me?
I am also from Pune & I am from the first category that you mentioned .
Honestly, I consider myself lucky that I am in Pune. My take is, if you decide to go from eastern part of Pune (like Kharadi) to western suburb (like Hinjewadi), barring few peak hours, you never require more than 1 hour. In peak hours it might take some more time. I feel traffic in Pune is always moving with decent pace. If you compare to other metros like Bangalore, I do not think situation is same. Having said that, I am not sure, how long it will take Pune to become Bangalore as no major infrastructure projects are getting materialized.

I second some of suggestions to switch to Ola/Uber. In March, I had to use a free ride coupon of Uber. I loved my ride to office so much that, from April I switched to office cab & from last 2 months, I am consistently using it.

Last edited by GTO : 2nd June 2016 at 11:56. Reason: Typos
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Old 1st June 2016, 15:43   #28
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

You seem to show signs of traffic induced anxiety. I am no doctor but what helped me was that I give way more often and drive slower. Of course you run into a whole army of morons on the road, who honk when they can clearly see a cow in front of your car or even if the light ahead is red, but just learn to ignore them. While these steps can be helpful to an extent, I have noticed that the best way to get out of all this is to use the bike and be done with it.

EDIT: Get your AC fixed. Mine was broken too and after getting it topped up and cleaned, I started not minding even dense traffic.

Last edited by motorhead16 : 1st June 2016 at 15:46.
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Old 1st June 2016, 15:54   #29
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

My 2 cents


- Find the right time you can leave and avoid traffic to work. Similarly from work to home find the right time. In case you are spending too much time while coming back from work, simply find a local gym, swimming pool, tennis court or anything that helps you spend that time more effectively. Simply delay the time you leave from work.
- At 8Am it takes me 15-20 mins from where i live to work. At 915 this time extends to 30 mins minimum. At 930-10 this touches close to 1 hr. I simply start at 8 or take the train which means i also get to walk 2Kms from station the much needed work out for the day/week/month or year based on how many times i take the train.
- Similarly at 5PM its safe to leave. After that my best time to leave is 8PM. Now i have found a tennis court and i am just going to use this 3 hrs to get much needed fun.

2 cent

- Acceptance was my first step that the drive is going to take 2 hrs (lets say)
- Great music. This ranges from soothing melody, heavy rock to exceptionally beaty rap music or R&B.
- Use neutral and relax your legs. You dont have to move your car for every two inch a car infront of you moves. No matter how many squeeze in you are pretty much not losing any additional time by filling millimeters and centimeters. If the traffic is stand still, just go to neutral and enjoy the music
- Call your old friend or someone you never connect on regular hours. While in US my time to call home always was from Car(Hands free, car based BT devices that is allowed). Similarly i catch up with my friends here at traffic time. Best diversion as the conversation ranges from old time catch up to new time gossips.
- I also have loads of pictures i have taken. I load them in SD card and simply view it. its so much fun when you see the pictures you have taken. I have close to 10K pictures loaded in smaller size to fit my screen and imagine how long will it take to cover the 10K pictures with 5 second display. Yeah math
- Most importantly find your distraction. There are days where i have had conversation with the next car on topics ranging from traffic to cricket. Thats the only skill i posses to fearlessly make a connect with a stranger and still pass time. Works wonders in any situation.

Last but not the least, dont let emotions take over and make it a stressful activity. I know it sounds strange, i love driving in traffic and that makes it a stress free activity for me. The more the traffic the more the music, the more i can distract myself from road when the car is not moving and heck on stand still traffic i even pick the phone to check my messages. I know its bad, but what am i suppose to do for 10 minutes standing at the same spot.
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Old 1st June 2016, 16:03   #30
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

I think anyone spending more than an hour each day for commute, needs to reevaluate their life.

Either change your job or move closer to office.

Things are a little different if there are other dependencies like a spouse working and needing a middle ground.

But I think the long term effect of spending so much time on the road cannot be good in both physical and mental sense.
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