Make Traffic Suck Less in 2020

Traffic often creates a special kind of intense frustration.  Where mature adults behave like napless two-year-olds in full-tantrum mode.

Even the coolest characters can dramatically overheat.  For instance, when Oscar-winning actor Jack Nicholson took a golf club to a fellow motorist’s windshield in a fit of road rage.

Jack’s behavior is obviously an extreme example.  But, driving in traffic congestion can cause serious friction.  And although Los Angeles has long held the title of ‘Most Congested City’ in the United States that’s recently changed.  Or at least that’s what traffic data firm Inrix has found.

While that’s great news for us here in Southern California, it’s a bummer for drivers in other cities.  And the cities that are now ranking with worse traffic congestion than LA are Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York.

So, here are some suggestions on how to make traffic suck less during your commute – wherever it may be.

#10 Learn Something New And Make Traffic Suck Less

No, don’t read behind the wheel.  Audible, Amazon’s audiobooks are a great option.  There’s definitely something in any category you find interesting.  Pick up a new language, get some history or learn best practices on parenting teenagers.  Better yet, learn how to start a business working from home!

#9 Entertain Yourself With Audio On-Demand

Podcasts are like the on-demand button on your TV remote.  But there’s way more of them.  Plus there are tons of ways to consume them.  But keep it easy, if you’re Android get the Google Podcasts app.  And if you’re Apple go with Apple Podcasts app.  Once you install either of those you’re sure to find something of interest.

#8 Enjoy Radio Without Incessant Commercials

Every city has different public radio offerings.  For example, Los Angeles has a great classical station and a great jazz and blues station.  But another option for skipping commercials is SiriusXM.  Because it’s evolved into a great utility with every genre of music, news, sports, comedy and more.  And it’s basically commercial-free.

#7 Incorporate A Side-Hustle To Make Traffic Suck Less

Drive for Uber or Lyft.  Sound silly?  Think again.  Because I recently hailed an Uber at John Wayne Airport in Orange County heading home to LA.  And it turned out my driver had just gotten off his day job.  So, I wound up paying him to commute home.  Getting paid to drive definitely makes traffic suck less!

#6 Think Survival First

Okay, you’re not going off-the-grid or behind enemy lines but it’s easy to forget to prioritize human needs.  So, road warrior, keep snacks and water on hand.  And be sure to hit the bathroom one last time before hitting the road – just in case.

#5 Dress For Sucess

If the thought of sitting in gridlock in business attire makes you cringe then make adjustments.  Change before grabbing your key fob.  Because comfy clothes and driving shoes can make a huge difference in your ability to relax. And make traffic suck less.

#4 Pack A ‘Go-Bag’ And Make Traffic Suck Less

So, a traffic go-bag is much like a gym bag, just less smelly. :0)  Just throw in your comfortable shoes and clothes and add some ready to eat snacks and water.  But be sure the snacks have a decent shelflife.  Granola, protein bars, and pouched fruit are great standbys.

#3 Don’t Hold It

Previously mentioned but worthy of its own position on the Top 10.  When you gotta go – you gotta go!  And holding it creates a sense of urgency that’s very avoidable.  Even Jack Nicholson points out that it was a series of issues that led to his road rage.  So, avoid the build-up of little annoyances to make traffic suck less.

#2 Be Happy In Your Own Metal

If you hate your ride then you literally enter frustration every time you get in.  And that’s totally avoidable.  Of course, you have budgetary restrictions but you always have options.  I’ve become a huge fan of leasing.  Because my car is always new and under warranty.  Plus it has the latest safety tech and creature comforts.  And a car is not an investment.

#1 Mindfully Chillax

Because I’m terrible at this myself I made it number one.  We all get caught up in the moment.  But tailgating, screaming out the window and using sign-language to let other drivers know you think that they are number one doesn’t help.  Just expect traffic congestion to suck and see 10 through 2 above to make traffic suck less.

Bonus Content – How To Make Traffic Suck Less

You can also make traffic suck less by actually wanting to reach your destination.  Specifically, if you hate your job then even a little traffic is likely to get to you.  Because you’re annoyed before you even leave for work.  And yes, I can attest to this one from lots of experience. :0)

Have a suggestion on how to make traffic suck less?  Email me; tom [at]

I receive a commission through Audible and SiriusXM links.

The full story of Jack’s road rage.