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Holding Icon How to Survive a Traffic Jam

How to Survive a Traffic Jam

SAS survival expert, John 'Lofty' Wiseman

Winter weather can lead to traffic jams - either as a result of accidents or the volume of vehicles using major routes to avoid less well travelled roads that may be flooded or icy.

When you find yourself stuck in a jam, be patient. The situation is beyond your control so there is no point in getting stressed. Of course if you've followed the golden rule of allowing plenty of time for your journey and built in a contingency you are already better off that those around you.

Clock watching will make the time go very slowly, so use the time to do something productive. Most people claim they never have enough time in the day - so don't waste it. Take the view that you've unexpectedly been given an extra 30 mins, hour etc. and make the most of it.

  • Catch Up On Tasks
    Rehearse a speech, practise how you'll answer those interview questions or, if you have handsfree calling and a mobile, take a moment to call someone you haven't spoken to for a while.
  • Play Games
    Create words or acronyms from other car registrations and stay mentally alert whilst you pass the time.
  • Don't Lane Hop
    Changing from lane to lane in an effort to make progress is unlikely to save you any time and increases your risk of being involved in a collision.
  • Read-Up
    For prolonged stationary periods keep a book in the car. If you've forgotten one, read the car's manual which should be kept in the glovebox and is full of useful advice.
  • Laugh
    If you find yourself getting worked up it's a great way of diffusing tension and alleviating stress.

Survival Tip

Breathing exercises can help combat stress, oxygenate the brain and slow everyt hing down. Breathe in through the nose for count of five, hold for five and exhale through the mouth for five. Repeat until you begin to feel calmer and more in control. (Lofty)

Winter Survival Guide

Download the complete guide

Winter Survival Guide cover


Amid falling temperatures and rising levels of concern among drivers, Halfords Autocentres has worked with renowned survival expert, former SAS Sergeant Major and author of the best-selling SAS Survival Handbook John 'Lofty' Wiseman to create the ultimate Motoring Survival Guide.

Download the complete guide or read on for more winter survival advice.