Auto Club Offers Commuter Stress Tips for 60 Freeway Shutdown

(LOS ANGELES, Dec.  15, 2011) – To reduce motorist stress levels during the 60 Freeway shutdown over the next day and possibly the weekend, the Automobile Club of Southern California is offering tips and cautioning drivers not to be distracted.
More than 200,000 commuters are expected to have to detour around the closure by using the 10, 210, and 5 freeways and surface streets as alternate routes. Anita Lorz Villagrana, the Auto Club’s manager of community programs and traffic safety, encourages drivers to plan ahead and suggests that motorists should anticipate commutes will be more congested and longer.
“The key to managing heavy traffic this weekend or any time is to plan ahead and carpool, take public transportation, or work at home if your employer allows it,” said Lorz Villagrana. “If driving, allow more time, and expect delays.  Traffic congestion isn’t worth raising one’s blood pressure.”
Bicyclists and pedestrians may also be impacted by heavier traffic on surface streets resulting from the shutdown. “Choose walking and biking routes carefully, regardless of age or riding experience,” said Lorz Villagrana.
The Auto Club offers these commuter stress management tips:
  • Allow extra time and expect heavier traffic and delays. By adjusting your attitude to expect delays, even if you're not driving anywhere near the closure, you won't get as stressed out if you run into traffic.
  • Plan ahead, carpool, use public transportation, or telecommute, if possible.
  • Manage additional commuter stress by listening to books on tape, soothing music, and periodically practicing deep breathing. 
  • Limit distractions while driving, especially in heavy congestion.  The temptation may be to text, call friends or loved ones from the vehicle.  These actions will take your mind off the road, and the task of driving, and will likely compound an already difficult commute.
  • Listen to the radio for traffic updates and pull up real-time traffic maps on your computer before you leave, so you can know what to expect and choose the route that is best for you.
  • If you’re a bicyclist follow the same rules of the road as other road users, including riding in the same direction as traffic and following all traffic signs and signals.
  • If you’re a pedestrian, walk with caution, follow all traffic laws, and make eye contact with drivers to ensure that you’re seen.  

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Elaine Beno
(714) 885-2324