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Old 1st June 2016, 16:24   #31
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

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Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
Add me to the list. I love driving and find a car to be much more practical to move around even though bike is more soulful. But, I detest traffic and even crowded areas. (Leave alone driving, I wouldn't prefer walking or visiting a crowded place.) Even I prefer not going out on the weekends to avoid the city rush and the parking hassles. Until recently, I was the only one having a car in my friends circle. So if we were to go out together, I used to cajole everyone to rest at home and postpone their works. Or the next best thing was I offered my car to them and stayed back or asked them to take their bikes and go. On several occasions, I have beckoned my friend with his bike to go to areas which I dreaded to tread in my car (a year back, my parents blackmailed to part with my bike and give up riding).

Now, I can't avoid my office runs. My daily office commute is 11 kms each way and is not exactly a dreaded traffic zone. And yet, to reduce the slimmest possibility of traffic, I leave for office as early as possible. I prefer sitting idle in office for 2 hrs instead of sleeping an additional hour and spending the other crawling through the road.

On the return leg, I can't leave the office on my whims. Nor do I love my office so that I will stay late till the traffic is thin (post 9pm). So, often I get caught in the jams. I have a 5 yr old WagonR whose clutch is still on the lighter side. The AC cools too and the music system plays my favourite songs in my way of liking. Yet, on some days, they are not enough to soothe my nerves, especially after a long tiring day. On days when I don't like the music and when I am stuck in a crawling or stuck traffic jam, I call up a friend or my parents and talk to them. Mind you, in all these cases, either the traffic isn't moving or is moving occasionally at speeds <5kmph. Once I cross the bottle neck and the road frees up, I disconnect the call and go home. On some days I just observe the people around me, their activities and their behaviour. Each of them trying to outsmart the other, squeeze into a gap or maybe take a 3-4 inch lead. It keeps me occupied. I also hate the ABC pedals in these times but then I can't see myself driving a automatic ever (and of cource, can't afford a new one right now). Leg pains sometimes but it recovers in an hour or two. I go home and try to do something that I love, to recover soon. I cook on many occasions and catch up on some movies sometimes.
So far so good. Any other suggestions?
That's the best way mate. And this is what I do more or less. I hate driving in Mumbai traffic so got myself a bike. But I don't ride like other bikers where they get on the side walks or go off the road. Therefore there are times when i get stuck in traffic on my bike too.

How ever when I am in the car and stuck in traffic, i call my wife or my parents and talk to them. If they are busy or phone is low on the battery then good music and I observe people on the road doing weird stuff and their bad driving.

This helps me relax. Else I day dream also. That's the best way to handle a traffic jam. Day dream!!
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Old 1st June 2016, 16:29   #32
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

The best and hassle free everyday commute is by systems which use exclusive right of way - such as suburban train, metro train etc, provided our first and last mile connectivity are good. Better still if we can walk to and from the station.
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Old 1st June 2016, 16:48   #33
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

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Originally Posted by capslock View Post

So my question is this - How do I reduce my traffic phobia? What would be your advice?
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?

.
Hi Capslock:

True, at times the drive is frustrating considering the traffic, wayward behavior and two wheelers trying to squeeze into the tiniest of spaces between cars and the Buses trying to throw you off the road.

Having said that,

I still enjoy driving and do the following:
1. You do not have to drive with the intent of overtaking someone - It just raises the stress within yourself
2. Avoid Honking :
3. A good AC sure cuts out the traffic noise and keeps the body cool as well
4. Give Way! Give way to those who are honking or just want to go. Just let them go.
5. Play music that suits your ears. I prefer anything instrumental or light. But ensure to keep the volume in check lest you do not hear an ambulance or emergency vehicle's siren
6. In bumper top Bumper traffic ( hinjewadi ), I prefer to keep to the left most lane; and then I have to worry about only traffic on my right.

Hope that was helpful
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Old 1st June 2016, 16:51   #34
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Mod Note : There are several spelling & grammatical errors in your posts. This negatively affects the forum experience for other readers.

Kindly ensure that you proof-read your posts prior to submission. Also, it would be a good idea to use a spell-checker.

Last edited by GTO : 2nd June 2016 at 10:33.
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Old 1st June 2016, 16:55   #35
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

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Originally Posted by Yusha View Post
That's the best way mate. And this is what I do more or less. I hate driving in Mumbai traffic so got myself a bike. But I don't ride like other bikers where they get on the side walks or go off the road. Therefore there are times when i get stuck in traffic on my bike too.

How ever when I am in the car and stuck in traffic, i call my wife or my parents and talk to them. If they are busy or phone is low on the battery then good music and I observe people on the road doing weird stuff and their bad driving.

This helps me relax. Else I day dream also. That's the best way to handle a traffic jam. Day dream!!
Going slightly OT, here is my dilemma regarding riding. Have a look at my thread and you will understand my concern.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...only-ride.html (Is your Car your primary & only ride?)

Riding, once my passion, has been ruled for some time now and I am forced to drive everywhere. Back in 2012-13, when I was in Bangalore, I had a Pulsar and used to go around everywhere on it. And yes, like you said, I used to get stuck in traffic even then. I remember, once it took me little less than 2 hours to go from Whitefield to Indira Nagar (<15kms) at 7PM. I dread to think what would have happened if I was driving on that day.

While the taxi services are an option, I am not exactly comfortable with them. I have a phobia I don't like to depend on any 3rd party. I don't find them very clean too. And my place being slightly away from the core city, the density of taxis are low. I use them for airport drops and late night party returns. Even for local transport, I need to cover the initial 1.5kms to take a local train or bus. Since I have no 2-wheeler, I mind leaving behind my car at the station parking. I love walking too but it's not always possible to walk down. So, back to square one.

But I agree, dreaming, pondering and observing people is interesting. Talking also helps but my dad scolds me (yes, even now) when I talk to him while I'm on the road (walking or driving).

Last edited by ashis89 : 1st June 2016 at 16:59.
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Old 1st June 2016, 17:32   #36
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

I work in shifts and I work in Hinjewadi-Pune which is notorious for its traffic.
Since I work in shifts, I am always clear of traffic.

Still I don't prefer driving everyday to office since driving on same road to and fro every day is extremely boring for me.

Thankfully I do have option of company cab and I take it occasionally.

Its better to carpool when possible, apart from reducing emissions, I feel it helps reduce the boredom and road rage when you have someone to chat alongside you.

Should try and totally avoid typical weekend destinations like Lavasa, Lonavla etc.( from Mumbai / Pune ) and go for offbeat destinations which may not have all the facilities, but will give you more peace and cleaner air.

Other option is to take a job which has weekday weekly offs, I had one few years back and it was fun.
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Old 1st June 2016, 17:57   #37
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Everybody hate traffic. Some more and some less. But everybody hate it. I own a VW Polo. Its clutch is too high : something similar to old Jeep. So imagine the pain I have to endure in traffic. In India, the only time you can enjoy driving is on the highways (the one in good condition) on weekends when you don't have to get to somewhere on time. With taxi hailing services like OLa getting popular, it will be sensible to give up driving in cities for short distances. Hire a taxi or just use the two wheeler.
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Old 1st June 2016, 21:19   #38
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Totally agree with the above, just waded through a 2hr jam trying to wriggle out of a hellhole called ecospace, feel numb waist below due to the polo's clutch. Just wish India had a well developed point to point public transport system like metro, at places that actually need them, like office areas, so that we could get rid of the daily horrors of commuting and traffic phobia. Cant deem the two wheelers safe and foolproof either, the way some people recklessly drive, just yesterday saw an activa split in two. Till we get decent infrastructure and people with brains doing urban planning, driving will be a nightmare.

Last edited by AppyS : 1st June 2016 at 21:20.
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Old 1st June 2016, 22:17   #39
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Either get an automatic, or spend some more time mastering the clutch. Once you master the clutch, you have mastered driving in traffic and won't feel intimidated by small pesky autos and bikers or even big tempos and Fortuners
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Old 1st June 2016, 23:15   #40
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capslock View Post
....I still hate driving in traffic conditions.
.... I hate driving to my office. I prefer two-wheeler over a car.
.... I feel every other vehicle is trying to get in my way. Bikers do all they can to come under my bonnet .....

I also hate to drive on highways during weekends or long holidays.
In contrast, many of my friends ... drive ~50km a day in dense traffic still appear happy at the end of the day.

The only time I enjoy driving is when I am on highways during weekdays or I am on remote village roads.

1. .. ..
8. ..
9. Anything else?

....I really love cars and wish to continue driving. I always like cars more than two wheelers.
Fundamentally, all these feelings of frustration have only one root cause:
-- Anxiety build up due to the feeling of not making enough progress on the road.

The solution to be at peace is:
-- Disconnect the thought of "by when"/"how much longer" you'd reach your destination, from your drive.
For this to work, you have to always plan ahead and arrive at the appropriate time to start.


You will always arrive in due time depending on the prevailing road and traffic conditions.
Just stick to a lane, don't criss-cross, accelerate and decelerate smoothly, allow all those who want to "jump onto your bonnet" and get ahead and pass. Be relaxed and slow down to stop (rather than accelerate) when you see the Green light turning to Amber.

You'll end up accumulating lesser stress by each passing minute. Lack of stress will make you efficient and resilient, be it under huge traffic or long long stretches on the highway. Overall, you will end up making surprisingly good time overall, given the conditions and still feel fresh at the end of the drive. This has always worked for me.

PS: The frustration of working the clutch in stop and go traffic will really get to anyone's nerves (and knees). Looks like switching to an Automatic is the only way around this going forward.

Last edited by for_cars1 : 1st June 2016 at 23:33.
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Old 1st June 2016, 23:26   #41
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Old 2nd June 2016, 06:23   #42
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Refrain from succumbing to 'Judge Dredd' syndrome of meting out justice at the sight of violations observed. It is a given that one is likely to run into colourful personalities, ranging from the blissfully ignorant to the blatantly arrogant . Getting frustrated or infuriated not only puts the driver behind the wheel at risk, but it's also extremely uncomfortable for passengers.

I'm practicing letting out a sigh at the maximum (no swearing or gestures), that alone made my drive through the same traffic less stressful.
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Old 2nd June 2016, 07:56   #43
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Just a few suggestions:
  • Get a used automatic car with a good AC, noise insulation and some features. You could buy used Accords, Camrys and Corollas for the price of a hatchback, although running cost and maintenance will be higher compared to new cars which cost the same
  • A little music will help you relax
  • Take an Uber/Ola to places where traffic is heavy and finding parking is a nightmare
  • Start Journeys on highways early. It's better to start at 4AM than 10AM. You might shave an hour on your journey time too

Hope you'll enjoy driving.
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Old 2nd June 2016, 08:21   #44
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Few sure-shot problem solvers:

- Music as every one said
- Catch up with folks on Phone (Please use car head-unit for this. Wont advise headphone/handsfree etc)
- Biggest : *TIMING* : No better solution than this.

10 years back when I learned to drive, following is what I had written in my ownership thread:

Quote:
My city driving is about 35Km daily and hence I chose early hours to beat the traffic and also to help me learn driving. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I started enjoying the empty roads and a mileage of about 14 !! This is a practice which I still follow and I consistently see mileage of about 12-14, with pseudo-highway like city driving conditions!
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...edit-sold.html (Ford Fusion: Life Till 55K and beyond. EDIT: Sold!)

I still follow the same rule.

Another Biggie:

5-6 years back, I discovered audio books as one of the best stress busters. Imagine you being stuck at a traffic jam and not worried about it, because you are happily listening to your latest novel, blissfully unaware of the chaos and anarchy outside. It has brought down my traffic anxiety a lot.

Other items: (For Bangalore)
- Work around a Saturday. I feel the whole of Bangalore is on the roads on a Saturday. Sunday seems much better.
- MRT seems to be shaping up well. Use it to beat the parking woes and congestion hot spots. Many seem to have started using it these days.


And yes, in spite of all the above I still have the traffic-phobia (and also parking phobia!). So the first answer to a question of stepping out is: WHY?

Last edited by ampere : 2nd June 2016 at 08:23.
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Old 2nd June 2016, 08:43   #45
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Default Re: Traffic Phobia: How to return home in one piece...with peace?

Here are my ways of practicing peaceful city driving:
1. Start early from home and leave early from office (This saves at least an hour a day in Bangalore, Whitefield-Manipal stretch)
2. Put average fuel economy display as default on your console, which will control the urge of speeding.
3. Always tell your self that there nothing more important than the safety of yourself and your car.
4. Try reducing eye to eye contact with cabbies/tempo travelers, when ever they irritate you by not giving way/wrong overtaking/bullying etc. The solution for this is just stay as far as possible to those morons.
5. Stick to one lane and try not to honk, unless there is a real need.
6. Last but not the least, Listen to good music and enjoy driving.
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