by: Martin Aguda Jr.
1. BE PROACTIVE. MAKE YOUR JOURNEY PLAN.
Pre-plan your trip if possible – schedule your trip as much as possible (only for those not driving to work everyday); check your online traffic apps – (MMDA, Waze, etc.) before take-off; listen to AM radio for real-time traffic reports. These proactive measures will definitely spare you from the traffic disaster.
2. MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE ENOUGH GASOLINE TO SURVIVE THE LONG HAUL.
Ensure that your vehicle is ready for the Carmageddon worst-case scenario. Check your vehicle’s fitness using the BLOW-BAG checklist (Battery, Lights, Oil, Water, Brakes, Air, Gas).
3. IF YOU FEEL THAT YOU WILL BE LATE FOR WORK OR YOU CANNOT MAKE IT ON THE SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT/S, NOTIFY YOUR BOSS, CO-WORKERS AND PERSONS THAT YOU NEED TO MEET.
Be realistic and apologize. Reschedule the meeting or have someone attend on your behalf. This will definitely lessen your anxiety and stress while on the road.
4. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR SELF TO BE A ROAD MANIAC AND ENGAGE IN ROAD RAGE.
Do not allow your temper to control your driving habits (e.g. cutting others, frequently shifting lanes, honking your horn, shouting at other drivers, cursing traffic enforcers, etc.). You don’t want to make the situation worse by having an accident or by getting into trouble with a fellow motorist.
5. IT’S CAR-KAOKE TIME.
Music can relieve traffic stress. Bring your favorite CDs, make your “favorites” playlist on your smartphones and gadgets. Sing out loud, dance, or play drums on your steering wheel while enjoying the view.
6. MAXIMIZE THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY.
Log in to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Read and answer important office emails. Read an e-book. Call your loved ones, significant other, or just engage a friend in a casual conversation. Take selfies or document the fiasco. WARNING: While these are all driver distractions, do these only when traffic is not really moving.
7. BRING YOUR CARMAGEDDON SURVIVAL FOOD.
Pack some road survival food – crackers, chips, chocolate and energy bars, and fruits (bananas, apples, etc.). Also, always carry a water bottle with you. Don’t forget to hydrate. Avoid coffee or soft drinks, these will make you urinate. Remember that a hungry driver is also an angry driver.
8. HAVE A PERSONAL URINAL.
Traffic is not moving and you need to pee. This is a very serious concern and is an agonizing experience for the driver. Commercially available, disposable sanitary personal urinal (that absorbs liquid and turns liquid into gel) will be “a good have car survival item” that will save your day. The usual hospital urinal or an empty bottle will serve the purpose for males. Be sure that you this personal necessity activity out of public view.
Do deep breathing exercises for stress reduction. You may want to do these exercises while on the car seat: arms and hands stretching, tummy tuck exercises, steering-wheel push-ups, isometric exercises, etc.
10. LASTLY, BRING LOTS OF PATIENCE.
When we are stuck behind the wheel, we should accept that there is nothing much we can do to make the vehicles move. These are things beyond our control. PATIENCE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT VIRTUE WHILE ON THE ROAD THESE DAYS.
Remember these tips to survive the Metro Manila Carmageddon – DRIVE, SURVIVE & ARRIVE ALIVE.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Most of these tips should be done only when the vehicle is at complete stall in a traffic jam. YOUR SAFETY SHOULD BE NOT BE COMPROMISED.