79° Good Evening
79° Good Evening

NYC traffic: Tips for surviving gridlock

Sitting in traffic.

Sitting in traffic. Photo Credit: iStock

We generally think of our city as a metropolis of straphangers, bike riders and fast walkers. But New York consistently ranks high on lists of the most gridlocked U.S. cities. If you regularly drive a car in this city, you probably lose about 53 hours of your year to sitting in traffic. That's a full workweek, five happy hours and eight episodes of "Game of Thrones."

So whether you're a regular/cocky Pruis commuter or you borrowed your cousin's Geo Prism to go to Ikea on a Friday evening, we've gathered a few tips for surviving gridlock.

  • DON'T keep listening to traffic reports over and over. You’re not going to hear any secrets on how to escape the motionless nightmare you are in. And there are only so many times a human can hear the KARS FOR KIDS ad before doing something rash.
  • DO keep your mind occupied, but don’t think about anything serious. This is not a time to think about what you want to do with your life, whether you want to have children or why you and your dog never agree on anything.
  • DON'T drink any beverages -- unless your car is equipped with a urinal or toilet. (We bet Elvis had one of those).
  • DO use the time to call people you’ve been meaning to speak to for five years. (Use a hands-free device, of course). This includes family members you probably don’t like, ex-coworkers you probably don’t like and your boyfriend or girlfriend, who you may realize after sitting in traffic for five hours you don’t like, either.
  • DON'T try to make friends with the drivers in cars stuck next to you. These are likely the crankiest people on Earth at this given moment.
  • DO take some time to pamper yourself. Freshen up your makeup in the visor mirror (only when at a complete stop!) or lint roll that black sweater you're wearing. If you're going to arrive late and angry, you should at least look good doing it. (But seriously, keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road when in motion).
  • DON'T scan through your car radio's FM stations. You will end up listening to the same annoying songs, over and over. This is 2014, bro. Get on Spotify.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

News photos & videos