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Old 1st August 2016, 10:28   #16
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Default re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

Received following message in my residents whatsapp group. I am sure it belongs to this thread.

Before we all head off to work tomorrow, here's something that could help those of us in Delhi NCR. Rains are expected over the next few days, and while we can all complain about the dismal state of the roads, we have to accept that this is how it will be, at least this year. So let's try and be better prepared. I've put down a few thoughts, please add your own, and perhaps we can make the commute a little more bearable.

1. Try and carpool. Fewer cars on the roads means lesser traffic jams.

2. Keep a few bottles of water in the car. Keep yourself hydrated and offer to those stuck around you.

3. Keep a spare pair of running shoes in the car, not in the trunk, so you don't spoil your office leathers, should you have to step out.

4. Stock up on biscuits, chips chocolates and fruits. Being hungry makes you more irritable in an already bad situation. Again, share and offer to others.

5. Carry your regular/essential medicines with you.

6. Keep a car charger or powerbank for your phone. You don't want your family getting anxious because they can't reach you on the phone.

7. Keep a book or your kindle handy. Will help divert your thoughts from the chaos outside.

8. Most importantly, relax. Getting worked up isn't going to clear up the flooded roads and honking isn't going to ease the jam. Listen to music, read a bit, catch up with people on the (please use earphones or Bluetooth). And remember to take deep breaths. It will help you stay calm.

9. Those of you who can, step out of your cars and help manage traffic. Offer a ride to those on foot. Be patient with the elderly drivers, or those who get a little flustered. Be considerate towards the ladies.

10. Fill up your fuel tank. Don't take chances.

11. Central locking and power window electricals can be affected by water. If you get locked in, use the underside of the detachable headrests. The pointy end of the gear lock will work too.

12. Keep an extra pair of clothes in your bag, just in case there is a major traffic haul on road and you have to camp at a friend or colleague's place.

Every small gesture counts. Let's all try and be part of the solution, and not limit ourselves to complaining about the problems. We are better than that.
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Old 1st August 2016, 14:48   #17
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

My earlier office was located close to the financial district and thus, every commute to & fro entailed rush-hour traffic. Things were mostly manageable, except during the monsoons (in particular, evenings with heavy rain).

What I'd do:

- Check the traffic situation in advance. It's so easy with Google Maps.

- Consider alternate routes.

- If the jam is too bad, chill! One evening, I knew it would take me 3 hours to reach home. I called a Moderator who lived close by, had a nice relaxed dinner with him, and then hit the road post dinner. The traffic had completely cleared by then.

- 26th July 2006 was the worst. Mumbai was totally flooded. Luckily, that day, I'd taken my Jeep to work . She just breezed through flooded areas where other cars wouldn't dare go, but eventually we reached a jam which had no movement at all. Parked her safely and took a long walk home.

- After getting stuck in a highway jam or two, with no shop in sight, I've started keeping snacks in the car for longer runs. I can sit in a stationary car for 3 hours, but I can't sit hungry for 3 hours.
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Old 1st August 2016, 15:06   #18
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
- After getting stuck in a highway jam or two, with no shop in sight, I've started keeping snacks in the car for longer runs. I can sit in a stationary car for 3 hours, but I can't sit hungry for 3 hours.
Good point.

I keep a couple of energy bars in the glove box just for that purpose. They don't spoil so they can safely be left in the glove box till you're hungry and stuck in traffic, eating them doesn't create too much of a mess in the car, and they're just right for a quick snack without having to hit the gym for quite some time as would be the case with chips or chocolate bars.
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Old 1st August 2016, 15:31   #19
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

My 2 paisa:

1. If you are lucky enough to have advance knowledge or anticipate an extra-ordinarily bad traffic situation (the likes of what we saw in Gurgaon), dont be afraid to take extra-ordinary measures to save yourself. Remember the old adage "better safe than sorry". Such measures could be

- Taking public transport

- Carpooling

- Staying back late in office or wherever you are

- Go to a nearby restaurant or multiplex if its in the same complex

- Don't be afraid to walk home. I often hear the complains "I paid 100 rupees for 2 km to autowallah" - dont be afraid to walk it if it comes to it. You can walk 1 Km in 10 minutes. Thus 5 Km can be covered easily in 1 hour. Now don't try this in case the water depth prevents you from seeing open manholes and other such dangers. These can be life threatening.

From preparation perspective, keeping following items may be helpful:

- Wind cheater/rain coat
- Pair of sandals & Shorts in the car. Change before you leave.
- Torch
- Food
- Water
- Bottle for passing urine (hey you never know )
- phone charger. at least charge the phone before you start.
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Old 1st August 2016, 15:55   #20
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Whether it rains or not, its best to check google maps (with traffic enabled) before leaving home or office. Avoid the red bits, even if you have to take a 5 km detour or you have to go through narrow residential type roads.

If it is raining heavily outside and Google Maps shows blood everywhere, might as well stay in office till things clear up.
Google maps got confused in Gurgaon. Many parts of Golf Course Extension Road was submerged and there was no vehicular movement at all. Initially the maps represented those parts as green inviting more cars in the mess. Later they turned white. If possible, alternate source of information should be sourced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Basically in extremely heavy rain and bad weather conditions, try not to venture out in the first place, unless you absolutely have to..
I took that option the next day, though it was out of fear of getting stranded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
1) Keep an eye on your fuel levels. If low, better move to the side. If possible, exit and sit it out.
2) Drinking water - Hope you carry enough.
3) If not raining, try to switch off the a/c. Will help you conserve fuel - and also avoid breathing in stale air.
To add to your suggestion, never let the fuel gauge go below half way mark. Fill up as soon as the tank is half empty. Many cars got stuck due to empty fuel tank in Gurgaon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aditya101 View Post
- Bottle for passing urine (hey you never know )
That is really important advise.
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Old 1st August 2016, 18:03   #21
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

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Originally Posted by sourabhzen View Post
Google maps got confused in Gurgaon. Many parts of Golf Course Extension Road was submerged and there was no vehicular movement at all. Initially the maps represented those parts as green inviting more cars in the mess.
wow, I guess there are limits to how technology should be used.

Note to Google: Come up with an India-specific technology to depict water-logged streets in BLUE (or dirty brown!)
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Old 1st August 2016, 18:19   #22
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

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Originally Posted by greatgyan View Post
I've myself been stuck in 4-5 hour long jams and I'm sure many of you must have endured the same A few times.
Yep, I had my shares of long waits in traffic jams. At least 3 times in 2016!

Once in Jan around 4 hours stuck in outer ring road near sarjapur road junction

In bommanahalli for more than 6 hours - due to flash strike of the garment workers protesting against the new PF rules

Again in outer ring road near EMC2 for about 3 or 4 hours

Things I did/try to do
Don't get stressed out and shout at people - absolutely no use!

Switch-off engine/ close all windows and walk outside

Try socializing - not online/facebook, but in person! I have had some useful discussions especially with cab drivers, once when I was stuck up in outer ring road.. Got to know many short-cuts/advices how to beat the ORR traffic

I always keep plenty of water and some packets of biscuits in the car. Helps to keep your energy levels high.

If the weather is hot, don't sit in the car for long. During the almost 6 hour jam during the garment worker agitation, I locked my car, walked to the nearest shop and was sitting outside. I saw many people sitting for way too long in the car - sweat dripping from their faces! It was a darn hot day that day for people who remember that messy day!

Have some paper / books handy - You can get lot of thinking done ! :-)

Take a nap! :-) Yep. Once when I was stuck in outer ring road at around 1 am, I switched off the engine, opened the window few inches in the top, took a nice nap of more than 1 hour! Note: Please ensure that you are NOT in the middle lane if possible!.. The funny thing was when the mess cleared after 2 or 3 hours, had to walk out of the car to wake up some of the drivers who were snoring away to glory!
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Old 1st August 2016, 18:25   #23
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hserus View Post
Good point.

I keep a couple of energy bars in the glove box just for that purpose. .
I do that too, but not in the glove box.

Food stuff in the car always act as rodent magnet. I generally keep them in my laptop bag/travel bag. So, all my bags are amply supplied with biscuits and emergency meds (dispirin & gelusil).

Only challenge, I wish I could find one of those contraptions which let you 'go'!
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Old 1st August 2016, 18:45   #24
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

Mumbai Pune eway has been a regular candidate for Traffic Jams.

Being a Mumbai - Pune eway regular, I had never experienced a long jam until March 2016.Both old and new highway were Jammed since accident took place in common Ghat section

An overturned tanker had spilled oil on both lanes and it was a 4 hour long Jam near Lonavla. Luckily since Lonavla was close by ,many vendors were selling their stuff on highway itself.

I tried to move to the leftmost lane closer to tall trucks, so that i was completely shielded from harsh sun and could switch off engine completely.

Luckily I was travelling with a group of friends and hence we did not feel the pinch of Jam at all. Thanks to this thread, I will be better prepared when I do hit eway soon.

People travelling with infants and small kids need to prepare much better at all times anticipating long jams, especially on eway since for most of the stretches there is absolutely nothing on both sides of the highway.

Last edited by silverado : 1st August 2016 at 18:54.
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Old 1st August 2016, 18:55   #25
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

Couple of thoughts from my side.

Apart from the stuff already mentioned regarding water, snacks, power bank etc.., another thing that I have been doing is to refuel a little earlier than usual. Normally I refuel when the indicator is at quarter tank or just lower, now I do it before it has reached the Quarter tank-Some time between half and quarter. Considering that traffic jams can pop up anywhere, anytime for the flimsiest of reasons, low fuel will be one less thing to worry about.

Ever since my regular route to office became a set of small and big traffic jams, I have switched to using public transport in place of my car and bike. When I do take my car, what I do is invite my friend who also takes public transport and stays on the same route to join me. Always better to be stuck in a jam with a friend. Also in case of emergencies, two is always better than one.

So one suggestion is that if you are heading out to or from office into a potential jam, it makes sense to see if you can do a car pool with someone else.
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Old 1st August 2016, 19:03   #26
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Unhappy Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

Not so intuitive way, my friend followed, proved to be good.... To just leave the car at the leftmost place, lock and head back home.

This was done in Chennai. He came back the next day and took the car, lot of time and anxiety saved. Car was not damaged.

This is the last option for those who are struggling in the jam for hours, with out any hope of the Jam clearing in a couple of hours.

The inconvenience for the road users would have increased, so not generally recommended.

Last edited by ravradha : 1st August 2016 at 19:03. Reason: Removed a repetitive word
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Old 1st August 2016, 20:18   #27
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aditya101 View Post
- Bottle for passing urine (hey you never know )
.
You know, this point reminds me of my desperate situation last year when I was stuck in a jam for about 5 hours, during rainy season itself.
Now obviously if someone is sitting for 5 hours at one place and the weather is on the chill side, he'll have to answer nature's call at one point or the other.
And not always is it possible to relieve yourself by the roadside. (People from Bangalore will get this, I was stuck on Bellary road near Le Meridian Hotel, in front of the golf course. And the jam extended all the way to Hebbal! so obviously, there's no option of relieving yourself by the roadside on that entire stretch).

The situation was so desperate that I decided to relieve myself in the car itself. Somehow managed to get a hold on myself and get to a petrol bunk nearby where I was able to let go.
Thereafter, I gave serious consideration on having a pack of adult diapers in the car specially during monsoon.
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Old 1st August 2016, 23:05   #28
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

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Originally Posted by greatgyan View Post
Y
And not always is it possible to relieve yourself by the roadside. (People from Bangalore will get this, I was stuck on Bellary road near Le Meridian Hotel, in front of the golf course. And the jam extended all the way to Hebbal! so obviously, there's no option of relieving yourself by the roadside on that entire stretch).
Oh boy, I can relate to this! Once during a long jam in the ORR near EMC2, it was raining cats and dogs and because of the cold weather, my bladder was near bursting and there was no where to go nearby! Finally, just couldn't bear it and flicked on my hazard lights, dashed out and relieved myself. I sheepishly looked around and was surprised to see at least 5 to 10 people rushing out of cars for the same purpose! I guess they just wanted some one to start!

One thing I realized is the pitiable situation for women/ladies during these time. It must have been sheer torture for them!
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Old 2nd August 2016, 12:39   #29
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

Almost all major points have been covered by now. I would only like to add few:
1. There'll always be idiots on the road so ignore the ones who try switching lanes, honking etc.
2. Listen to some soft music and try and relax.
3. If the weather permits, get out of the car and talk to other people standing nearby. As they say, Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.
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Old 2nd August 2016, 16:08   #30
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
1)
3) If not raining, try to switch off the a/c. Will help you conserve fuel - and also avoid breathing in stale air.
I've a tonne of questions in my mind regarding this point.

Firstly, is the extra fuel consumed due to the AC running in idle conditions anyway related to the type of fuel/engine we're using? i.e. Diesel engines will consume less diesel when the AC is running compared to petrol engines?

Or is it anyway related to the capacity of the engine irrespective of the fuel? i.e. an 800 cc Alto will consume more petrol for the AC running, than perhaps a 1200 cc Swift.

Or is the consumption of fuel dependent on the the level/temperature that we want the AC to run at.

Or perhaps all this is just irrelevant and the extra fuel consumed cause of AC running is independent of all these factors.

Really curious to know what the dynamics are here.
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