Even If You Hate The Traffic, Buying A Car May Not Always Be The Answer

September 28, 2022

Bringing a car with you may not always be the best option especially with the heavy traffic and rising fuel prices.

Stuck in traffic more days than you can count? A lot of Filipino commuters can truly relate in more ways than one. While a lot of us contemplate getting a car to solve this problem, the truth is adding more cars on the road can usually make the situation worse because the major roads will be more congested than ever.

Heavy vehicular car traffic at dusk
Photo by Miguel Barrera

Even If You Hate The Traffic, Buying A Car May Not Always Be The Answer

    With the increasing gas prices on the loose as well, you can expect that getting a car may be a lot costly, not to mention costly because of additional expenses, such as car maintenance.

    So, we consolidated some ways to help you deal with traffic if you really have to go during rush hour. We also included some tips so you can avoid traffic because of the dreaded rush hour (that is, if you have the chance to do so).

    Plot your travel time

    If you know that you will already encounter heavy traffic as soon as nine in the morning comes around and dies down at around 11 AM, consider traveling a couple of hours earlier or later than this window period.

    Aside from that, also consider the days when you plan to go out, if you can help it. For instance, going out on Fridays at around seven in the evening can prove risky because this is usually when traffic is heaviest. In the same light, consider minimizing your travel plans during the holiday season because most of the people will be out and about to buy gifts and visit their friends and loved ones.

    Use the public transpo

    While this is obviously not the favored choice, it still is a viable option if you know how to travel smart. By traveling smart, we mean knowing the time and the type of public transportation that you need to resort to so you can arrive at your destination at the soonest possible time.

    Aside from helping you save time and money, this helps the environment in a lot of ways. For instance, using public modes of transpo can help reduce carbon emissions, thus reducing air pollution in the process.

    Because there is one less vehicle that will occupy the streets, there will be a lower chance of having traffic congestion. While the effects do not seem significant if you’re the only one who will do this, just imagine if at least a hundred people will do this instead of riding their private vehicles to and from their workplaces, homes, and other places they have to go.

    Another benefit you can enjoy if you ride the public transpo is the ability to multitask while you’re commuting. Watch a movie you’ve been putting off for so long, read a chapter or two of that motivational book that your friend recommended, or even just catch up with your friends while sending them chat messages. Provided your ride is not jam-packed, all of these are possible.

    Commuting is also ideal if you came from a long day of work. Even if you’re just sitting, driving can be demanding and tiring. You need to pay full attention to the road ahead, so you can avoid accidents. This becomes a crucial point, especially if there’s an impending downpour, as you need to pay more attention due to decreased visibility and friction of the wheels and the surface of the road.

    Walk if possible

    In case you’re not a fan of public transpo and the distance from your current location to your destination is within a two-kilometer radius, consider walking to get where you have to go. It may take some time before you get to where you want to go, but you can reap other benefits while doing so.

    First, you can increase your physical activity, thus helping boost the other aspects of your health. Walking can help clear your head of thoughts. As a result, it can contribute to improving your mental and psychological health.

    You can also save some money by walking relatively short distances. While the money you save every time you decide to walk may only be a small amount per trip, it can somehow become a significant amount when you pool the money together and set it aside for a few months.

    If not, consider having another mode of transportation

    One of the most common means is the bike. Aside from being a fuel-free option, you don’t have to think much about upgrades and similar considerations, if you’re not looking forward to having a flashy unit anyway. It’s a different story if you get addicted to upgrades, though!

    If you’re not a bike person, another option is to carpool with people you know. With this choice, you get to enjoy the benefits of riding in a car without worrying about issues, such as gas prices, car maintenance, and car repairs. Also, you can even bond with your friends better this way as face-to-face communication is still a lot different from mere online chats.

    Stay tuned for major traffic updates

    May this be the news or social media updates from legitimate sources, take note of the announcements a few minutes before you hit the road. These will already serve as hints of the general route that you have to take from your current location to your target destination.

    Aside from the actual updates themselves, also scan the comments section a little as fellow commuters and motorists will most likely have a say about the current road situation. These will give you additional insights, as far as pushing through with your plans is concerned. You may also consider looking at car reviews in the Philippines first before you go out.

    Look for some alternative routes ahead of time

    This shouldn’t be a problem if you know the area very well. However, if you’ve only traversed the roads in question for a few times, you may have to do your research to determine which alternative routes to cross should you discover that there’s heavy traffic up ahead.

    In case your web searches do not yield anything helpful to you at the time, consider asking around. Maybe you have friends who may be living nearby and can give you some tips on how to go around the major road. Another option is to ask your well-traveled acquaintance about their insights.

    Use a navigating app

    You don’t have to own a car to use this type of mobile app. In fact, you can plan on walking to and from a specific place and still use this navigating tool. The point of using this feature is to avoid areas with heavy traffic, accidents, major delays due to unforeseen incidents, and other similar events.

    At the end of the day…

    While traffic is inevitable at some point, let your creativity shine through and look for ways to help you avoid it at all costs. In the long run, this will not only save you a lot of time but also opportunities to rest and take care of things that matter the most to you at the moment.

    After everything has been said and done and you still feel that getting a car is the best choice for you, still consider some of the tips mentioned above. Some of them are still doable anyway if you badly have to avoid traffic at all costs.

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