How to Prepare For and Endure a Massive Traffic Jam

How to Prepare For and Endure a Massive Traffic Jam

You never know when you’ll come upon an unexpected — and massive — traffic jam.

It once took me more than four hours to get home from work — a trip that normally takes 25 minutes at most — and I’ve never forgotten how miserable it was: alone in the car, inching it along the interstate in 96 degree heat and high humidity, surrounded by hundreds of frustrated, hungry drivers until it got dark…

Several hours in, I’d hiked my skirt to my waist and unbuttoned my blouse to my waist, too, since the temperature inside the car had to be about 110 degrees. (Turned off the AC so the engine wouldn’t overheat.) At that point — who cared what the truck drivers thought?!

I kept my sanity by folding a week’s worth of newspapers that happened to be in the back seat and draping them over the steering wheel, to give me something to glance at while moving the car slowly, inch-by-inch, hour-by-hour.

It pays to be prepared! To make the best out of a potential traffic snafu, take action now and stock your car with the following items:

1) Phone, car charger and emergency single-use charger; you may need to ask a relative or friend to pick your child up from school or an activity — or notify a significant other you won’t be home for a while

2) Plenty of reading materials to entertain yourself

3) Wide-rimmed plastic cup or other container (to pee in — if things really get desperate) and tissue

4) Food (some sort of snack that won’t go bad in a hot car)

5) Water (bottled water is good, especially if it’s in a little cooler)

6) Single-player board game (such as a magnetic Sudoku board), crossword puzzle book or a deck of cards to pass the time — good for passengers

7) Blankets and/or jackets and gloves

8) Tennis shoes and socks (in case you need to abandon the car and hike somewhere) or boots

9) Flashlight (the sun will eventually set)

In addition to planning ahead and gathering these things, be sure you always have at least a third of a tank of gas!

Being stuck in traffic is bad enough, but running out of gas in a situation like that would really be the last straw…

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10 Responses to How to Prepare For and Endure a Massive Traffic Jam

  1. Carolann says:

    That must have been a nightmare for you! Good tips on what to store in your car!
    Carolann recently posted…Easily Post Photos To Instagram From Your Desktop With Gramblr!My Profile

    • blogqueendiane says:

      Thanks for writing! Got stuck inching along in a 1.5 hour traffic jam yesterday, and need to fill up the gas tank today.

  2. Vanessa D. says:

    I’m sorry you got stuck in a 4 hour traffic jam. I drive a lot for my job and one thing I’ve learned is never pass by a washroom! Typically I’m only on the highway for a portion of my trip and the bulk of it is always on rural roads where you never know if there will be a place to stop.

    As for the gas, I don’t even like to park in the driveway at night unless I know I’ve got at least 1/4 tank. When my boys were small, 24 hour gas stations weren’t common and with small children you never know if one is going to be sick enough to need to go to the ER.
    Vanessa D. recently posted…Ten Things of Thankful – May 22My Profile

  3. Harriet says:

    Honestly, I am not sure if there is anyway to prepare (mentally) yourself for the traffic jams! This is one of the worst thing ever…. sitting in the car and moving so slow that even people who are walking on the sidewalk are faster than me! Having food, water and charger are essentials that really help a lot! Thank you for the post! Greets!

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  5. Nate says:

    This is a very thorough list, Diane. The only thing I think I’d want in addition to what you mention are my cds. Radio music gets tiresome; and I wouldn’t want to wear down my cell phone playing music.

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