It is always a good idea to know when the rush hour for traffic jams in Madrid is. Avoiding traffic jams is something we all try to do. If you also know this important information and avoid it in this way, you achieve three important objectives: you optimise your time, consume less fuel and contribute to cleaner air in the city.
Although you may not believe it, one of the most frequent traffic jams is what is known as a “ghost traffic jam”. It is a traffic jam in which there is a lot of build-up, usually with traffic at a complete standstill, without there being an apparent cause for it.
Research has shown that the action of a single driver is enough to cause a snowball effect. A chain reaction that normally raises the initial action pattern.
We have all experienced this type of action. When a vehicle in front of us suddenly reduces its speed, our instinct causes us to immediately stop our vehicle.
The same is true of other situations in which we estimate a danger, the cause of which we are unaware of and whose risk cannot be evaluated. It could be a lane change, an unexpected manoeuvre or any other strange or unjustified action. We call this the “accordion effect.”
According to the Inrix Global Traffic Scorecar report, Spaniards spend more than 17 hours in traffic jams per year. For those who mainly travel around Madrid that is an average of 42 hours per year. Almost two days that, in some cases, could be better spent doing something else.
In addition to being a waste of time, being stuck in a traffic jam severely alters one’s mood. You become short-tempered and it can affect much of your day. This affects your performance at work and your personal and family relationships.
Another negative aspect is its influence on rest. When you are regularly faced with a known traffic jam on your journey, you have to take time out from your rest and get up or leave earlier.
Often, avoiding a traffic jam, even if you have to get up early, will allow you to arrive relaxed and with plenty of time to take a break before starting your work day.
In addition to the accordion effect, which we have already described above, the most frequent reasons for traffic jams in Madrid are the following:
It usually consists of an accident or a breakdown that causes the blockage of a lane or an entire street. In addition to the reduction of the circulation space available to the rest of the drivers, there is a curiosity effect. Drivers are curious and not only slow down for the sake of prudence, but we tend to almost completely stop our vehicle to take a look at what is going on. This greatly aggravates the situation.
This is another frequent reason. Madrid is a city with endless facilities and these require constant maintenance. Normally there are many that cut off a stretch of a public road, a lane or divert traffic leading to build up on other roads.
Most roads are not prepared to absorb the amount of traffic that builds up at certain times of day or that which is derived from other roads that are cut off or more congested.
During the week, the worst time of day is undoubtedly the first hours of the morning, when all school and work trips coincide. The time band between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. is the worst, followed by between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm.
At the weekend, between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. stands out when great numbers leave the city on Saturdays, and return on Sundays, between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Although this varies quite a lot depending on when the sun sets and the seasons of the year.
The first thing would be to have some flexibility. Otherwise, it is best to anticipate them, as leaving later does not guarantee the same results.
Another important issue is that on our website you can stay up to date with the traffic at all times and calculate the time of a journey. Through this option you can choose one route or another and know how much time in advance you need to leave your point of origin.
Driving in Madrid can be quite complicated if you do not take into account the peak hours when there is usually more traffic. A journey that usually takes fifteen minutes can take hours. Knowing the peak times for traffic jams in Madrid and being able to avoid them by anticipating or being aware of alternative routes is essential if you live in this city.