How to Survive DC Traffic

trafficjamCommuters in large cities have a variety of ways to cope with rush-hour traffic; in Los Angeles, I observed people shaving, applying makeup and dressing in their car while sitting in traffic. Why would you want to look at public transportation? Washington, D.C. has the highest rate of automobile collisions in the United States, followed by nearly Baltimore, Maryland. If you have to drive in the area, it might be wise to have a few Baltimore car accident lawyers programmed into your cell phone.

A few months ago, my husband had the chance to introduce us to his old neighborhood in Washington. Having never been very far east of Nashville, I had never experienced the joys of mass transit. For me, being in a big city meant having a car.

Eric had entered college early, and was recruited shortly after finishing his degree by the Department of Defense. Having started college at 16, he never bothered pursuing anything more advanced than a basic driver’s permit. Finding himself in Arlington, he explored his options and decided that he cold get around perfectly well using Washington’s Metro system. Compared to the cost of not only buying and maintaining a vehicle, but also having insurance for a 20-year-old male, parking costs and the time spent in traffic, it seemed an intelligent choice.

His co-workers couldn’t figure out two things: how he got so much work done before coming into work and how he dealt with getting around without a vehicle. With the extensive coverage of the Metro system, rail coverage on the eastern seaboard and airline transportation most other places, Eric got most of his work done while in transit, leaving him ample free time.

If you have to drive, whether because of job requirements or lack of access to public transportation, there are several options available to you:


  • If possible, speak with your supervisor about the possibilities of telecommuting part-time or changing your work schedule in order to take advantage of off-peak driving times. This will save you time in traffic as well as gas money, as a vehicle waiting in a slow down will use more gas than one quickly getting to it’s destination.


  • Check out park and ride or carpooling options in the area. This gives you the opportunity to meet new people and network.


  • If you have to drive yourself during rush hour, take advantage of the down time. Work on learning a foreign language, history, science or an assortment of other areas to increase your knowledge base; especially if it is related to your career, it may give you an advantage in your next performance review to negotiate for higher pay or better work arrangements.
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