Rebecca Bernard
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What to Do When Bored In A Traffic Jam

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The News Wheel's Chicago Auto Show Team at the Nissan Booth

Our Chicago Auto Show team before getting stuck in traffic. Patrick, second from the left, lives in Chicago and avoided the quality time we spent together.

On our way home from the Chicago Auto Show, The News Wheel’s team was caught up in a 10-mile long traffic jam in Indiana. It’s important that I tell you what state we were in, because there was no highway exit or gravel turnaround that you’re not really supposed to use in sight. We were pretty much at a dead stop, since they highway ahead of us was closed.  With nowhere to go, the four of us stared at each other as we wondered what to do. Check out how we managed to not go crazy and be prepared for your next traffic jam.

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Turn on the Radio

Turning on the radio when stuck in traffic is a great idea for many reasons. First of all, many state departments of transportation have a radio station that might disclose why you aren’t moving closer to your destination. After that, music is a great distraction. We were lucky enough to have access to four cell phones loaded up with music, so we cranked up a playlist the greatest hits of the 90s and early 2000s and proceeded to belt out the lyrics we knew at full volume.

Look Up Why You Are Stuck

We are wary of telling anyone behind the wheel to become engrossed in a cell phone, stopped in traffic or not, so I looked up news in Indiana to see why our interstate was closed from the back seat. We discovered that the accident ahead was not only fatal, but being investigated as a crime, so the highway had been closed for hours. We also continued to refresh the news story to see if we could get an ETA for when they highway would reopen.

Eat All The Candy*

Before hitting the monstrous traffic jam, The News Wheel’s crew stopped at the Albanese Candy Outlet in Merrillville, so we were more prepared than usual for this traffic jam. We ate our fair share of gummy bears, chocolate-covered almonds, and sour gummy worms waiting for the cars around us to move. We won’t go so far as to say it made the ride sweeter, but it definitely made it just a bit less grim. It’s pretty much impossible to stay sad when eating something that brightly colored. If we had been more prepared, there certainly would have been healthier options available.

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Read a Book

Since I was not in the driver’s seat, it was safe for me to settle down with my Kindle and rely on its glowing screen to help me forget that I was stuck in Indiana. Of course, it was also getting dark outside, so I may have taken a bit of a nap while making it through some of the duller pages of the book I was trying to push myself through.

Eventually, we inched along to a turnaround and escaped the highway. Thanks to our smartphones, we traveled the back roads of Indiana and made it back to Ohio in one piece, cheering as we crossed the border. It was certainly a good thing that we had the weekend to recover from that longer-than-average drive.

*This is not The News Wheel’s endorsement of binge-eating candy. Desperate times call for desperate measures.