SURVEY SAYS: How Is Your Commute?

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers about their daily commute to work, and to share any interesting commuting stories or tips for a better commute.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers about their daily commute to work, and to share any interesting commuting stories or tips for a better commute. 

The majority (58%) of responding readers reported their commute was 30 minutes or less. Thirty percent have a commute that lasts 30 minutes to one hour, and 12% have a commute that lasts one to two hours.  

The largest proportion of readers (42%) indicated they have no road rage or anger toward other commuters while traveling to work. Thirty-six percent said they do experience this on occasion; 15% said they experience road rage or anger often; and 7% indicated they experience this daily.  

When asked for interesting commute stories or tips for a better commute, one reader mentioned almost hitting a cow in the middle of the road, and the most common recommendation was to leave home with plenty of time to get to work.  

But, the response that made me laugh out loud was: “I was having some issues with circulation in my hands and was very concerned that if I were lose the use of my middle fingers I would no longer be able to communicate with my fellow commuters.”


My life is mostly defensive driving, based upon watching for drivers who either charge up the shoulder or shared center turn lane pulling back into lanes just before intersections. Recommend finding a good cycling news station and just taking the time it takes to get to work and not speeding to try and make each light - we seem to all get there at about the same time, the jack-rabbit starters and those of us who drive reasonably to conserve gas and brakes. 


I love listening to audio books on my way to work. It makes the trip a whole lot more pleasant. 


I've learned that the slower I drive, the less angry I get. So I leave the house with time to spare, set the cruise control to the speed limit, and get in the right lane. Road rage averted. 


I'm thankful I'm commuting in lesser traffic so that it generally goes smoothly. Even though its about 5 miles of divided highway, rarely is there any stop and go traffic that causes issues. 


Due to many, many road construction projects this summer, this year's commute is the worst in my 27 years of driving to work. All alternate routes have had construction, so no good Plan B. My tips would be, 1) start your drive with an empty bladder 2) stay calm 3) leave home either really early or really late 4) if possible, telecommute at least 1 day per week 5) listen to audiobooks 


Drivers should never use a handheld phone or other communication device while driving, and never text while driving! My biggest pet peeve is when drivers in front of me disrupt the normal flow of traffic to do something "nice" for another driver, such as stop and let someone enter traffic from a gas station or parking lot, or to let someone in to the front of a who has decided to pass all the other saps in a long line of cars on the freeway. See, I'm getting angry just writing about it! 


I wish you would have asked not only how long someone's commute is, but also far it is. It's always sad when I hear a colleague in a larger metropolitan area tell me about their hour plus commute when they live less than 20 miles from the office. 


I was having some issues with circulation in my hands and was very concerned that if I were lose the use of my middle fingers I would no longer be able to communicate with my fellow commuters.

Verbatim (cont.)  

I take the bus. 


Since switching to the train from driving to the office, my mood has greatly improved. I do however still get into the occasional argument with drivers who insist on blocking the crosswalks but then have the nerve to honk at us pedestrians when we cross with or without the light. 


With one stop light and 4 stop signs on my commute - it's all pretty easy. Ocassionally a slow driver will be annoying - but rage is too strong a word for the feeling they cause. More often the trouble is trying to not hit the cat/dog/squirrel/rabbit/turtle/deer/geese compelled to fling themselves in my path. Not all commutes involve helicopter updates on traffic jams. Now everyone say some prayers for rain.... 


When I see a clown driving along the shoulder or trying to get to the front of the line in a merge lane situation, I'll pull out and drive halfway in my lane and halfway in the merge lane to block them. Makes my morning! 


Much of my commute is on a two lane road posted at 55 MPH. It always amazes me at the number of people who seem to think it perfectly acceptable to drive for 20 miles or more at a speed of 35 MPH. 


Live in a small community and choose a home close to work. My requirements were 5 miles north, south or west of my workplace. There is so much more time to do the things that make up LIFE. 


Road rage can be avoided by either going into work very early or late and leaving early or late during non commute times. For some, the new work environment is morphing to be 'in the cloud' and not in a formal office. Obviously that doesn't work for manufacturing jobs but many will be able to work anywhere and thus will avoid road rage althogether. 


I live near a military installation so we have drivers from all 50 states. Most of which do not know the rules of the road for the State. So, when someone iritates me on the road, I don't act on the rage! I use some choice words, but don't waste my time, put myself, my car, or anyone else on the road in jeopardy just to retaliate against the moron who happened to iritate me. Just a note: If traffic is stopped, drivers should leave more than 2 feet behind the car ahead of them, because if the person behind you doesn't stop and you hit the car ahead of is your fault! (Besides, I don't have any bumperstickers that need to be read!) 


I live 2 miles from work so I try to go down different roads to change up the senery when I can. 


Tip 1: Other drivers are NOT the enemy to be either "taught a lesson" or defeated in the commuting battle. Tip 2: Do NOT ride my bumper OR trail behind the car in front of you by 8 car lengths because you are distracted, which leads to..... Tip 3: PUT DOWN THE PHONE. You aren't really that important. (And ladies (of which I am one so I'm qualified to comment), please put on your make-up anywhere but the car. You really can't multi-task as well as you think you can.) 


I have a reverse commute, heavy traffic and delays occur in the opposite direction, of about 15 minutes! My commute used to be over an hour. I've recaptured 8 hours a week!!! 


I get chauffeured to and from work by taking the bus. Except for some interesting characters and odors at times, it is heaven-sent. Get to ramp up in the morning by reading emails and chill in the afternoon with music or a book.

Verbatim (cont.)  

I actually have two comments to make. 1. There are those that experience road rage when confronted with drivers who are obeying all the rules of the road but because they are slowing you down you become hostile. I am sorry but I don’t have any sympathy for you. If you would learn how to drive and obey the rules then your rage may subside. 2. My “road rage” is mainly directly at those imbeciles that insist on endangering others by driving on the shoulder, weaving from one lane to another at high speed usually without signaling, tailgating those that are passing other cars but not fast enough for you, insisting on illegally merging into the flow of traffic, texting or talking on the phone which impacts driving, applying makeup while driving, etc. You know who you are and what you are doing. And some of you even know you are doing wrong but you do it anyway because you have always gotten away with it. Of course you rage against someone else who does the same thing. Personally I will continue to drive in a safe manner, obeying the traffic laws and doing the right things. And if you are driving down road and see me flip you off then most likely you are one of those imbeciles. Please think about how your driving impacts others for a change. It isn’t always about “you”. 


I commute by Metro in Washington, DC. While there are issues, it is still alot better than driving thru the cities of Alexandria, Crystal City and Washington, DC to get to the office. Please note I live 16 miles from the office. 


Sometimes reminding myself that an alternative is to not be working and not commuting to work, then it's not so bad. 


leave early! 


Watching the sunrise over the mountains every morning is very inspiring. Seeing a dead body with the arm a few yards away is not. 


Only live 5 miles from work. The most rage is sneer at people who can't seem to park correctly on the street to allow more parking! My life is great! I'm happy! 


Anyone who commutes on the NJ PATH at the WTC experiences pedestrian rage daily. It's kamakazi commuting! People rush in both directions. There is no order. They race past and sometimes right into their fellow commuters faces to see who backs down first. I have been blocked from getting onto and off trains and through turnstyles because people will not give way. There is no sense of personal space and more than once I have seen people run right into each other. Two men once landed flat on their butts from the impact because neither one would give way. I was sure they were seeing stars! People do not make eye contact, they just keep rushing forward through oncoming pedestrian traffic. There is an armed military presence and it's still a menace! 


The cars are driving themselves because the "drivers" are too busy talking on their cell phones, texting, looking up numbers or directions, and whatever else EXCEPT paying attention to driving. Traffic comes to a near hault in a 70MPH zone because someone is more interested in their cell phone conversation than keeping up with traffic...oh and let's be sure to be in the far left lane, too. That's a personal fave of mine! Throw in the huge construction trucks that can't keep up with the minimim speed limit and should not even be on the freeways...yes, I wonder why there is road rage. 


Zoloft works wonders! 


Have a reverse commute so I get to fly by everyone crawling into the city. 


I can get to my new job in under 15 minutes by taking back roads, so no freeway required. On my way home from work, sometimes I get behind a guy on a little lime green moped that travels at max speed of 30 mph (in a 45 mph zone). Major groan factor when I see him up ahead.

Verbatim (cont.)  

If your schedule is fairly regular, you often see the same people, even on major interstates. My favorite was the guy who exercized his arms using free weights every day...probably helped both of us combat any issues with road rage! 


I am usually not awake enough to get angry on my way into work. I did almost hit a cow that was in the middle of the road once. 


I listen to books on tape from the local library. It helps keep me awake in the morning. I have a rural commute with only one small town that doesn't even have a traffic light. If I had a lot of heavy traffic to concentrate on I'm not sure I books on tape would be a good idea. 


A mere hop, skip n' jump for me. Someone has to be here to spoon out nerve tonic to the rest of you. "There there, I know, you're ok now, suck it up soldier - commute is hell". 


I know it is easier said than done but it's best not to let crazy drivers get to you. It is nothing personal. I find listening to upbeat music on the radio helps me stay calm and positive. 


My commute is about 5-10 mins down a winding road along the river. Very picturesque in the morning and evening!! 


my current commute has three components; a short drive, a long commuter rail ride, and a short stint on public transportation - all have their "interesting" days, though public transportation is, far and away, the most "idiot-filled". I would also say that, while I very much reject and resent government intrusion into how, and how much we eat/drink in the alleged interests of staving off the "obesity epidemic", anyone who has had the "opportunity" to "share" a bus/train/airline seat, or even an escalotor ride of late knows that mass transportation was developed with skinnier people in mind. It's a wonder some of these vehicles can move... 


Listen to audiobooks! It is so relaxing that I never get road rage anymore. And I'm well read!