What to do in a traffic jam? 5 measures to consider

Publicado el 18/09/2017

One of the main concerns when driving in big cities like Madrid is to be suddenly stuck in a traffic jam. This can be cause for stress, together with symptoms such as loss of concentration, headache, sweating hands and anxiety, but we can avoid it by following a series of guidelines and recommendations.

Recommendations to keep in mind in a traffic jam

The best way to avoid getting caught up in a traffic jam is to plan the route beforehand. Find out about the traffic situation on your route before leaving and use GPS or mobile applications that inform you about real-time road traffic in order to find alternative routes. These routes may be longer in distance but will take you to your destination sooner and without complications. If possible, avoid peak hours, such as arrival and leave times at the workplace.

If unfortunately, you are already held up by the traffic jam, here are some recommendations in order to avoid undesirable situations:

  1. Warn other users about the traffic jam.
  2. When approaching a traffic jam, do not manoeuvre abruptly. Turn on the emergency lights to warn others and slow down as you approach the congestion.
  3. Do not lose your temper, chill.
  4. You are now stuck in a traffic jam and there is nothing you can do; be aware that others do not want to be stuck either.
  5. You should try to relax: breathe deeply, play some relaxing music, adjust the car temperature, avoid thinking about the rush or your to-do list, if you travel with children, keep them entertained so they do not distract your driving. Be patient, courteous and respectful of others.
  6. Maintain a safe distance from the car ahead.
  7. It is the most important measure in a traffic jam. You must keep a safe trailing distance from the vehicle in front of you, enough to avoid collision in case it suddenly brakes. Drivers should observe approximately a two-second distance and increase the gap in the event of deteriorating driving conditions such as bad weather or wet asphalt.
  8. Anticipate.
  9. Look down the road ahead of your vehicle to anticipate the movements of those vehicles ahead of you (advance, braking, etc.). Check your mirrors frequently to spot traffic hazards early and be well-prepared to react to them.
  10. Do not perform sudden or unpredictable manoeuvres.
  11. Do not change lanes continuously or suddenly unless it is absolutely necessary to avoid a greater hazard. Do not accelerate or over brake. Always stay in your lane and avoid using the horn, it only makes other people nervous.
  12. If the traffic jam occurs inside a tunnel.
  13. In this case you must turn on the hazard warning lights and turn off the engine. Do not leave the vehicle under any circumstance except in case of fire or when told by the public address system.
  14. Check the fuel gauge.
  15. Check the amount of fuel in the fuel tank. If you consider that the holdup will take longer than two minutes, turn off the engine.
  16. Be careful with the decongestion sections.
  17. Do not try to make up for lost time when traffic seems more fluid. Do not increase speed sharply, the jam may reappear later.
  18. In short, for a traffic jam not to turn into a traumatic situation, it is important to stay calm, be respectful of others, drive smoothly and maintain the necessary safety measures to avoid collisions.

Este es el estado del tráfico durante 24h en la M-30

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