On Black Saturday you spend four hours in a traffic jam: “It’s really crazy”

On Black Saturday you spend four hours in a traffic jam: “It’s really crazy”

Black Saturday scares many holidaymakers. Those endless traffic jams when you want nothing more than to be at your holiday destination. Every year it is terrible, but according to the ANWB it will be busier than ever this year. “Please leave after one day,” says former traffic psychologist Ruud Hornemann from Lage Mierde.

“We’re almost there, but not yet!” And because of Black Saturday, it will take some time. As every year, this Saturday, which this year falls on July 27, is very crowded on the road with holidaymakers. Not only in the Netherlands, but also in Belgium, Germany and especially in France.

Four hours in traffic
The summer holidays also start in France and the Olympic Games start on Saturday. Furthermore, according to a survey by the ANWB, more Dutch people are going on holiday than last year. “Around nine million Dutch people go on holiday, three quarters of them by car,” explains Arnoud Broekhuis of the ANWB.

According to the ANWB, records will be broken. This is because never before have so many cars been taken to the road. Unfortunately, being stuck in traffic for four hours will be completely normal. It doesn’t help at all that there are still traffic works in some places. For example, heavy rains washed away the highway near the Gotthard tunnel in Switzerland. It will take all summer to restore it. Monster files are practically guaranteed.

According to Broekhuis, the new holiday trends are not helping traffic on the road. “In the past, people often stayed in the same place for three weeks. Now they move every two weeks.”

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no escape
With all the traffic jams ahead, why would you want to leave on Black Saturday? Former traffic psychologist Rod Horneman unfortunately doesn’t have an answer to that question, but he sighs in exasperation. “It seems like vacationers are very nervous. It’s great fun to drive on Sunday or Monday, but everyone definitely wants to leave on Saturday. I think it’s bordering on madness.”

According to Horneman, the Black Saturday phenomenon originated in the past when people often relied on a single holiday period. “To make the most of an already short holiday, everyone jumped right in the car. Holiday periods have been more flexible for years, so you don’t really have to leave on that Saturday.”

“Don’t change lanes”
Are there any known shortcuts to avoiding traffic jams? Or can you take something into account so you don’t get stuck completely? “You’re bound to end up in traffic jams,” says Horneman. However, the traffic psychologist does have one piece of advice: Don’t change lanes in the hope of moving forward faster. “That only creates more delays and irritates other commuters.”

Broekhuis from the ANWB advises holidaymakers to leave a little later, around 8 or 9 a.m. “Then you will arrive at your destination a little later, but with less traffic jams. Also make sure your car is in good condition. And don’t forget a spare wheel,” he says.

So anyone who really wants to leave on Saturday will have to pack a car with enough food and drinks to get through the traffic, and a good dose of patience. “If you have a choice: leave on Sunday or even Monday. That’s a much more pleasant trip,” Hornemann urges vacationers.

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