The Summer Driving Routine
Ahhh…complacency. If anything, it’s a predictable human trait brought about by routine or repetition of a particular task. We tend to fall into a state of complacency at this time of year – certainly in Chicago – because things get fairly repetitive. The weather tends to be consistent, summer is more than halfway over, we’ve barbecued everything at least once, grass isn’t growing much, the sun shines almost every day…in a word…routine. For limousine services in Chicago, this tends to be the slowest time of the year, due in large part to the vacation plans of our corporate travelers. It has been this way for years. Again…routine.
The problem with complacency is that it causes us to let down our guard, making it easier to be “caught napping” at times. For limo services, taxis, or any mode of ground transportation, a good example of a negative aspect of complacency pertains to traffic patterns. In Chicago, traffic is fairly predictable, with rush hours and off-peak periods being nauseatingly regular. But as the home of many sports teams, concert venues, special events, and business conventions, letting down your guard could have less-than-favorable consequences. Oh…did I forget to mention the weather? “The City That Works” can also be called “The City That Grinds to a Screeching Halt” when the weather changes.
Expecting the Unexpected
Like a good defensive driver, anyone traveling around Chicago should expect the unexpected. Never make plans based on what you think you know, especially if time is an issue. We see this frequently on summer weekends, when traffic is supposed to be at its best. Surprisingly, there are a lot of people that want to get away from the city during the summer, and weekend traffic tie-ups are frequent…and annoying. We also have an occasional weekend or two each baseball season when the Cubs and the White Sox both play at home. This traffic “cluster bomb” is sure to screw things up through the city for a few hours. If you plan ahead, you can beat the hassle of these traffic scenarios, but a little research is required first.
Planning Your Trip
You’ll have plenty of warning if you check your daily paper or local news. They LOVE reporting on significant events like a marathon or bike-a-thon, or Comic Con. Once you know the when and where, the how is in your hands. Prescription for success? Leave plenty of time. Also, plan alternate routes. There are dozens of ways to get from Point A to Point B. However, don’t ever assume you are the only one working this strategy. There are hundreds of like minded escapees with the same intention. Still, planning your trip will minimize the effect of those surprise tie ups and road closures. Forget what you know about traffic based on your ride to work everyday. Think like a tourist. They always plan ahead…and expect the unexpected.