Ready, Set, Drive: How to Survive Your Commute on Game Day

Football season is exciting for fans and players across the country. But for those who live in major football cities that can’t get the day off work — or who aren’t fans of the game — game day presents a serious dilemma: how do I get to work without going crazy when there are thousands of visitors in my town?

Game day traffic is a serious problem for major cities. GPS company TomTom looked at travel data for NFL games in 2010 and found that some cities experienced road slowdowns of about 30 percent, with fans in some places driving 50 percent slower than usual. From Texas to Oregon, commuters across the country have their work cut out for them if they want to get to work on time.

If you are preparing to commute to work on game day, here are three strategies you can use to avoid the traffic:  

Work from home

The easiest way to avoid traffic is to work from home. If the majority of your job takes place through computer and email, consider asking for a special dispensation to work from home on game day. If it works out, you might be able to negotiate more time working from home and get back your time from your commute throughout the year.

As for a flexible schedule

If you need to make it into the office, ask for a flexible schedule for the day to come in later and head home early. This will allow you to avoid the major traffic delays associated with travelers without missing out on important in-office activities.

Use technology to your advantage

If you have a smartphone, put it to work! Google Maps and Waze both offer traffic alerts in real time and will automatically adjust your travel time so that you have a reliable ETA. You can also set the apps to suggest different routes when the one you’re on is congested. Using Waze, passengers in your car can communicate with other cars to find out sudden changes like traffic cops, accidents and shorter routes.

Transit is another important app for putting together a reliable travel plan. Unlike the other apps,  however, Transit will let you mix and match walking, public transportation and driving to get you to your final destination on time.

No matter which strategy you to avoid traffic use, remember to also avoid the spoilers if you can’t make it to the game yourself. Steer clear of your favorite sports stations on your commute home so you don’t get the results of the game spoiled for you.