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Old 2nd August 2016, 17:50   #31
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

In the 2015 Chennai floods and the ensuing 7 hour traffic jam I encountered on my 25 Km stretch home from Sholinganallur to Nungambakkam , I understand and agree to all the points already shared. (I had bags of peanuts and drinking water so I was not hungry/thirsty). I was able to even give some of it to some colleagues I saw walking by looking for food around 11 PM. My phone was plugged in with a car charger and charging so was always in contact with family at home. Didn't get to step out to take a pee break as traffic was actually crawling forward continually every few minutes. Really missed having an empty mineral water bottle on hand for such emergencies.

What saved me definitely was being in my Thar (didn't worry about flood water level) and was having a comfortable amount of fuel in the tank. I kept watch on my temperature gauge as well at intervals and switched off the engine at every chance I got. Next morning when I checked my coolant overflow bottle was empty.

I also took care to ensure my legs were not cramping with the continuous stop and go by stretching my legs at intervals (using the hand brake and leaving gear in Neutral). The upright seating position also helped greatly where I was still able to walk without pain(legs were really sore). I compare this with other prior jams of 2- 3 hours I have been in while driving my Swift and Ikon but really struggled with severe leg pain by the time I got home so much that I wasn't able to walk.

Another important thing was being on a couple of WhatsApp groups local to Chennai where minute by minute updates were being shared by people passing through specific roads and locations so I was aware of what problems were occurring on which stretch of road. This helped better than Google Traffic or Waze (was looking at both and listening to the radio). Talking to some colleagues on the phone whom I know had left a bit earlier on the same route helped me in choosing between options of routes to take a calculated risk and make my way home via Kotturpuram road instead of a safer and typically recommended route of going via Raj Bhavan.
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Old 2nd August 2016, 22:42   #32
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Another important thing was being on a couple of WhatsApp groups local to Chennai where minute by minute updates were being shared by people passing through specific roads and locations so I was aware of what problems were occurring on which stretch of road. This helped better than Google Traffic or Waze (was looking at both and listening to the radio). Talking to some colleagues on the phone whom I know had left a bit earlier on the same route helped me in choosing between options of routes to take a calculated risk and make my way home via Kotturpuram road instead of a safer and typically recommended route of going via Raj Bhavan.
If caught out, and not knowing beforehand, how do you find WhatsApp groups like that?

Another thing you mention is something that seems obvious, but I bet it is not at all obvious to many, who spend hours with their left leg on the clutch pedal: gear in neutral, handbrake on, relax. And do not bother to start/stop for every inch, which the guy in front of you may be doing (and the guy behind might want you to be doing): it makes no sense, Wait until there is enough space to make the effort worthwhile.
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Old 2nd August 2016, 22:57   #33
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Another thing I recommend is that if one is aware via Google maps or some other app that there is heavy traffic and one has to venture out, I suggest not to eat heavily and venture out as it may lead to drowsiness. Also do visit the restroom - this may sound funny but it is not when you are stuck in a traffic jam with no loo in sight. This happened to me and half my attention was on my bladder rather than on the road.
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Old 2nd August 2016, 23:19   #34
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Thereafter, I gave serious consideration on having a pack of adult diapers in the car specially during monsoon.
Be that as it may, how would you plan on wearing them once you're stuck?
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Old 3rd August 2016, 00:40   #35
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

I hope no-one takes offence, but this is something I always thought India was not so squeamish about it. In fact, according to many, not squeamish enough! Even if it is embarrassing to be surrounded by a crowd, if you gotta go, you gotta go.

But, assuming that it is not considered possible to go outside the car, lets get a bit more practical here. Given enough time, it is something that becomes an emergency for all of us.

Aiming at the neck of typical water or cold-drinks bottle, whilst seated in a car seat, is not something I like the idea of. I think we had better cut the top off a bottle and add that to our emergency equipment. Or even, carry a small bucket.

There have been situations, back in UK where using the nearest wall, at least in a busy road in daylight, is absolutely not acceptable when such a thing would have saved me a great deal of discomfort. But no, I never did add such a thing to the car's standard equipment.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 07:36   #36
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

I think we're solving the wrong problem by thinking of a spare bottle or adult diapers. Do we train our 3-5 year old kids or do we give them diapers? Training, right??!

You just need to take a leak before you leave office, esp on days with heavy rain. Thereafter while stuck in traffic, only consume stuff that won't make you thirsty and sip only in small drops. e.g Sandwiches sometimes need water to be consumed.

If you keep sipping in small drops, you won't trigger the need for taking a leak.

PS: of course, if anyone is diabetic or has incontinence issues then the other advice is what you need.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 12:17   #37
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You just need to take a leak before you leave office, esp on days with heavy rain.
I am agreeing to all what you said sir, but sometimes even after leaving the office we get stuck in massive traffic snarls and quite frankly the pressure becomes uncontrollable. I agree carrying a bucket may be difficult, but if someone has faced a similar situation i request them to share how did they, well mitigate the pressure
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Old 3rd August 2016, 12:22   #38
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I am agreeing to all what you said sir, but sometimes even after leaving the office we get stuck in massive traffic snarls and quite frankly the pressure becomes uncontrollable. I agree carrying a bucket may be difficult, but if someone has faced a similar situation i request them to share how did they, well mitigate the pressure
You absolutely can't. That is a bodily function that will result in involuntary loss of control if held in for too long - it is that or a kidney stone, so consider it a basic defense mechanism that embarrassing wet clothes are preferable to a severe pain that, as five different doctors assured me when I had one a few years back, is rather greater than that of childbirth.

So - take a leak before you go, and drink small sips of water at infrequent intervals so you can drink your fill later on is about the only way to go - and even that won't save you in a several hour long jam.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 14:23   #39
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

It may seem that bladder issues have taken over this thread, but really, especially to the older ones among us, it is a vital issue of any kind of stranding. What to do if one get stuck in a lift for several hours?

I'm thinking that keeping the bucket or cut bottle in the car really is a good idea.

Otherwise, although a team-bhper might never forgive themselves for urinating on their own treasured car, opening a front and back door, and "using" the exterior of the back door might be an option.

Squatting is, perhaps, a more traditional approach, but practically, limited to the vesti/lungi wearers among us --- and not simple if there is a couple of inches of water on the ground.

Aside... only the other day, I felt the need, and the toilet at the shop I had visited was closed. I was walking. There is a piece of wasteland that is often used for this purpose, but as I approached it, an auto stopped. The driver and a little girl got out. I thought, "auto driver, ok, but little girl? I'd better complete my walk home." Then I saw they had both stopped for this purpose too! So, facing away from them and a few metres on, I joined the line.

<Blush>
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Old 10th August 2016, 00:51   #40
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

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I'm thinking that keeping the bucket or cut bottle in the car really is a good idea.
Not sure whether a cut bottle would be a good idea. Imagine the mess if it spills! The only advantage I can see is that you can empty it out of the window with lesser embarrassment!

At least men folks have a huge advantage, I really feel sorry for female folks who are stuck in these kind of situations and forced to hold on.

When I'm travelling with family, especially in the late night drives, one big challenge is finding good toilet options for ladies. Many restrooms in the highways/petrol bunks would be in a deplorable conditions
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Old 10th August 2016, 01:35   #41
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Not sure whether a cut bottle would be a good idea. Imagine the mess if it spills! The only advantage I can see is that you can empty it out of the window with lesser embarrassment! ... ... ...
just open the door far enough and quickly tip it out. I was not contemplating keeping the stuff in the car, in any sort of container
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Old 10th August 2016, 06:11   #42
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I think a bottle and funnel might be more practical. Keeping a cut bottle in the car till you find a place for disposing might be tough.
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Old 10th August 2016, 14:20   #43
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Default Re: Long traffic jam - Best practices?

Well, I am amazingly stupid and had not thought of the funnel! You can imagine what mental pictures I was struggling with!



But, unless it is raining too violently to consider opening the door a few inches, I still favour the idea of instant disposal.

Wide-neck drinking bottles would be an option. Buy a specific colour that you know you will never ever use for drinking --- and hope to never have to drink in the dark.

(Did anyone mention keeping a good torch in the car? I'm sure it must have been on an early list of essentials (yes, 2nd post) . This is important at all times, not just rainy times. There is always a small torch on my keyring at all times, and something much bigger in the car door pocket, near to hand. It is quite sufficient, but the gadget lover in me is considering getting one that I can recharge from the 12v USB charger.)

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 10th August 2016 at 14:21.
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