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11 ways to avoid traffic jams

No-one likes to get stuck in a traffic jam on British roads. It's an inconvenient, time-wasting and frustrating situation which can severely disrupt your journey.

Luckily, there are websites available that can help motorists plan their journey to avoid the congestion, letting them get to their destination quickly. These websites exist to help you ascertain which roads and motorways are currently experiencing traffic jams, congestion and accidents which can hamper journey times.

One of the most comprehensive websites that show current problems on UK roads is, which takes data from the government-run Highways Agency and TfL (Transport for London) to show exactly which motorways and roads are problematic, displaying the hotspots on a map which can be zoomed and panned to show drivers which areas and roads to avoid.

Here are some additional tips how to avoid traffic jams on our roads, which will help you to preserve your sanity and get you from A to B in the quickest time possible:

  • Seek out alternative routes
    Use a variety of sources to help you to identify alternative viable routes to your destination, including Google Maps, AA Road Atlases, and online road traffic updates such as
  • Invest in a Sat Nav
    Many new in-car satnavs now have traffic updates as part of their software, and can make life much easier for motorists. They often alert drivers to potential congestion ahead of their journey. You can typically purchase a decent satnav for as little as £50 from many online stores, including Argos, Amazon, Halfords etc.
  • Experiment with alternative routes
    Often, the best way of finding a good alternative route is to experiment by trying out other roads to your destination. Make sure that you allow plenty of time to enable you to go back on yourself.
  • Search Twitter
    Many motorists take to Twitter to inform other drivers of potential problems on the roads. Find out from other Twitter colleages by using a search term that is most appropriate. Most people will use the name of the road or motorway, so use an example search term: @M25.
  • Negotiate alternative work times
    Your employer may agree to stagger your work times to allow you to arrive at work earlier (or later) than you would do normally. This has the added benefit that you're much more likely to arrive at work in a better mood, making you more productive!
  • Get SMS traffic reports
    For a small cost, you can get traffic reports directly to your mobile phone via SMS (see below). However, be aware that using your mobile phone or handheld phone whilst you are in charge of a vehicle is a criminal offence in British law, so always stop your vehicle before you use a SMS service.
  • Other motorists
    Ask your friends, family and colleages to see whether they are aware of any 'secret' routes that they may know about.
  • Check traffic reports before setting out
    Half an hour before you're due to start your car journey, turn on the local radio and listen out for traffic reports that may affect your journey. Traffic reports can also be found online at many radio websites.
  • Let the train take the strain
    Why not leave the car at home and put your feet up on the train or bus? In most cases you'll arrive feeling more relaxed.
  • Ask on Facebook
    There are plenty of people who will be more than willing to share their tips how to get to a particular destination. Often people pride themselves in the knowledge that they are know a particular shortcut that saves them time. Just post a note to Facebook and watch the responses roll in.
  • Walk or jog
    There's nothing more satisfying than arriving at your destination on-foot, knowing that very little can stop you from getting from A to B on time. It'll also keep you fitter and healthier, and shed some calories in the process!

So, there you have it. Alternative ways of beating the traffic jams and arriving at your destination feeling rather smug with yourself.