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3 days, 3 accidents… dealing with your commute.

by Laura Davies | 28 January 2016

Why is it that as soon as the winter weather kicks in the roads become mayhem? Surely when you get up to a frosty car something inside you says ‘drive a bit more carefully today, the roads will be dangerous’, Yet the travel news is filled with more accidents to report at this time of year, and those of us that commute see our travel time practically double.

The past few weeks have been particularly challenging. I’ve commuted to our Derby office on three occasions, and on all three I have been stuck in the traffic caused by ‘severe’ road accidents. Taking my commute in to the office from an hour to two hours on two occasions, this got me thinking about what we can do to prepare ourselves for that challenging winter commute.

Firstly be prepared, there’s nothing more frustrating than being sat on a motorway or dual carriage way in standstill traffic whether it’s for 10 minutes or two hours. However, the longer you are stuck in the car the more stressed you become, particularly in the morning or in an evening when getting thirsty and hungry just makes the delay even more frustrating. So my advice is be prepared! Have some water bottles in your car, within easy reach, and pop some snacks in the glove compartment, cereal bars work well.

In winter especially think about your comfort. Blankets and extra clothes come in handy if you have car issues yourself. For really bad weather make sure you have a “snow and ice kit” in your boot… think a shovel and de-icer.

Secondly stay calm. Yes you may be late for work, but no one can expect you to predict an hour delay because of a five car pileup. Make sure you allow time to account for regular rush hour traffic, so that when you are stuck in a delay it’s a one-off occurrence, this way you can take a deep breath and stay calm. Panicking that you’re late for work again will only make your mood worse.

Finally, when you commute a distance on a daily basis, be sensible, never risk driving on fumes. Playing chicken with whether you have enough petrol to make it to work is one thing, getting stuck in a long delay with your petrol light on does nothing for your sanity!!

Equally make sure your car is roadworthy in general. When you commute long distances its worth investing in winter-ready tires, and making sure your car is in tip top condition.

I’d be interested to hear how you survive your commute, and any tips for dealing with delays.