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How To Make It Through a Traffic Jam

Being stuck in a traffic jam is a nightmare. While it’s always imperative that you remain aware of what’s happening, there are some things you can do to pass the time.

How To Make It Through a Traffic Jam, Photo by Max Titov

A Good Playlist

Music makes everything better and traffic jams are no exception. Having the right playlist however, is crucial and the right one will help keep you calm, remove any frustrations and can change your mood immediately.


Finding a good podcast can be a blessing. After a while you'll start looking forward to your time in the car, as you eagerly await new episodes.

You may in-fact begin to welcome traffic-jams as an excuse to binge! A few recommendations are;

  • Serial
  • The Ricky Gervais Show
  • Freakonomics
  • Car Talk

We compiled a list of our favourite podcasts for you to find out more.

Car Games

It’s one thing to be stuck in a traffic jam, but being stuck in one with bored kids can be likened to torture. Tantrums, cries of "Are we there yet?!", even tears.

To help keep your sanity, we recommend playing some classic car games, because when it comes to car games, frankly, you don't want to be playing anything that requires much concentration or that's distracting. So the classics it is!

Always a winner is "I Spy", "Car Colours" and "Punch Buggy".

If you don't know the games, you play "I Spy" by first reciting the eponymous phrase "I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with…" then the letter of the item you want the others to guess.

For example: "…something beginning with 'H'" for "Handbrake" or "T" for the many trees you've just driven by.

"Car Colours" is played by simply choosing a colour and being the first to spot 10 cars in that colour. Each passenger can pick their own colour, so everyone is different or you can all be the same colour and it's first to be observant.

"Punch Buggy" may be more trouble than it's worth, but this is a popular choice amongst siblings. Traditionally, it means whenever someone spots a Volkswagen Beetle on the road, they punch the other on the arm. It doesn't need to be a veedub, of course. Another fine choice is looking out for a yellow car. Just be sure to shout "Yellow car!" at the top of your lungs as you swing that haymaker.

Take a Breather

While traffic jams can induce road rage, they are actually a great opportunity to slow down, take a breath and relax.

Have you had a busy day or have one ahead? Then use this time to put all your nerves away and relax yourself. Apps such as "Happy and Calm" can help with this.

Plan Your Day

If you're not one to relax then you can conversely use a traffic jam as time to plan and organise the day ahead.

Make the most of the time and mentally sort out what you plan to say at your meeting, run through the structure of your joint project exercise for the day or decide on what you'll make for dinner.

Listen to a Book

With services such as Audible, the car has become an accessible place to get through your backlog.

Use traffic jams to expand your reading and finish that book you've never had the time to get through.

New Radio Stations

Why not experiment with listening to new stations?

Not only can change be good and help combat the monotony of traffic jams (listening to the same, familiar radio shows may actually make time feel like it's moving slower), but you may find a new favourite show that solves your problems!

Smooth Radio and Magic are two great options.

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