Nothing causes havoc to a perfect day like being in the middle of a traffic jam. Heading off to work in the morning, you always want to arrive in your office fresh and clean, that's why getting stuck in traffic, and in the process get all sweaty and stained up here and there can be very disheartening.
Traffic jams continue to be a menace to drivers and all road users across the country, leading to the loss of useful time and increased cost of living especially linked to the cost of fueling a car.
Nigeria who happens to be the most populated country in Africa has an estimated 11.5 million registered vehicles plying its roads. It is a country with its urban cities severely hit by the plague of traffic congestion.
This is no surprise at all as many of these roads are known for its poor condition, poor design and it's inadequate capacity. Several studies have been carried out by the International Journal of Engineering and Technology and the result clearly shows that Lagos and Port-Harcourt are the two Nigerian cities mostly hit by the plague of traffic congestion.
Traffic jams are a constant nightmare on Nigerian roads
The story of traffic jams in these cities never ceases to have an end, despite all significant measures taken by various stakeholders. So wise drivers who find themselves in these cities keep looking for ways to avoid, beat, or minimize this problem. Below are some tips or ways which could help in doing this.
But before we get started on our Top tips to avoid Lagos and Port Harcourt traffic, let's take a look at the worst traffic congestions ever recorded in the video below:
10 Worst Traffic Jams Ever
Tips on how to beat the Lagos and PH traffic
1. Find Other Alternative Routes
Urban cities such as Lagos and Port-Harcourt sometimes have more that one route used to reach a particular destination. It is recommended that one finds at least two routes that can help in completing a journey.
This means that adequate preparation needs to be made beforehand in case your most preferred route gets jammed.
Sometimes it may be difficult knowing other routes, thankfully the internet is here to help, they are lots of map sites which offer ideas about alternative routes. You could do well to ask others like neighbors and co-workers especially those not new to the city. Knowing about alternative routes has proven very essential as one could make a quick switch during traffic congestion. In fact, virtually everyone we spoke to say it is an important card you must have up your sleeves if you must survive the traffic dilemma in both cities.
2. Endeavor to try out these alternative routes
Having a profound knowledge of these alternative routes is quite different from trying them out. Some routes may look so nice on paper or maps, but numerous circumstances may make it a bit harder than expected, circumstances like the size of the road, its actual condition, and the level of traffic experienced there.
It is important that when you decide to try these alternative routes, you do it on days when you can afford to be late, in case some circumstances make it longer than expected.
If in any case, you decide to try out another route entirely, when setting out from home, remember to leave at the exact time you ordinarily would, this would help you determine which route makes you spend less time.
>>> You may also need to see some safe driving tips for Nigerian roads
3. Appropriate Timing
If you discover that you still spend so much time because of traffic despite finding and trying alternative routes, it is important to take a look at your schedule and adjust your timing appropriately.
It has been noticed that Traffic jams in both cities tend to be so active in some parts of the day than in others. So It'll be wise to always begin your journey very early, this could go a long way in making sure you reach your destination in time.
Leaving for your destination in good time is an unfailing trick
Sometimes heading out early could even save you the stress of being caught up in traffic congestion, that's why 80% of the people we spoke to who reside in Lagos and Portharcourt agree that timing is usually a special key in avoiding traffic. No wonder why people in both cities have to wake up as early as 4:30 Am just to make sure they can at least make it to wake in time (8:00 Am resumption time).
4. Be Aware of Updated Traffic Reports
Today, they are numerous ways in which we can get traffic reports, the Internet, the television and even the radio. Currently, the state government in Lagos has a traffic radio station broadcasting on 96.1 FM Lagos. This radio station has enabled lots of people all over the city to get adequate traffic information when needed.
The FRSC also runs a national traffic radio 107.1 FM Abuja, which may offer some traffic updates for major cities across the country including Lagos and Portharcourt. So if you can get their signals, why not connect to get live traffic updates. You can even listen to them by streaming their service live from their internet feed.
It is advised that you not only listen to this radio station before heading out but do so even when you're on the road. Even if the radio doesn't work for you, by all means, try to be updated with the cities traffic reports. This would surprisingly help you avoid getting stuck in traffic for hours.
Keeping track of traffic reports possibly saves you from getting stuck in this
>>> Check out How to avoid being robbed while driving on the highway
5. Adequate Use of GPS
Many modern vehicles come with an inbuilt GPS device, however, if yours doesn't, they are still many apps and software that could perform these functions. This idea on how to beat traffic may seem too common or elementary, but it shouldn't in any way be underestimated.
The GPS enables drivers to know their actual positions on particular routes, this is important in case the need to switch routes arises and if this need arises it also helps drivers to adequately navigate through different routes perfectly.
The GPS also offers the opportunity of knowing the precise time a route would take and offers essential features that would make their journey less stressful and would help navigate past some tricky traffic jam situations.
However, you must remember that the FRSC has laid down guidelines for the use of Google map and other GPS navigation Apps. If your vehicle does not come with a factory-built in-vehicle GPS navigation system and you are constrained to utilize a mobile device GPS navigation App, then you must make sure your device is properly affixed to a device holder placed in a position that allows for easy access, as well as helps keep your eyes on the road. For more on the use of Google maps see the link below.
Make sure you follow FRSC guidelines when using GPS navigation systems
6. Consider using a bicycle as means of transport
Finally, try using a bicycle as a means of transport. In one of our articles, 3 reasons why Lagosians should embrace bicycles to withstand the Okada ban, we highlighted solid reasons why you should consider trying out bicycles as a preferred means of transport especially to help beat city traffic in Lagos and Portharcourt. You can also check out the different types of bicycles in Nigeria and their prices on click below:
The entire Lagos State alongside the Port-Harcourt metropolis continuously battle with traffic jams, in as much as the government is working hard to remedy this, individual drivers should personally find ways such as those listed above to ease this problem. As a recap, the following are the tips to avoid Lagos and Port Harcourt traffic you should get familiar with if you must beat certain traffic hotspots:
- Find alternative routes
- Endeavor to try out these alternative routes
- Appropriate timing
- Be aware of updated traffic reports
- Adequate use of GPS
- Consider using a bicycle as means of transport