Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why You Might Get Late To Work On A Rainy Day

It's been a month since the rains have arrived.

I got a little anxious and later curious as to why I was clocking 40 mins to work, than my usual 30 mins. In any non-rainy day, I observed I was reaching within 30 mins, sometimes even 20 mins during peak traffic.

What started as a passing enquiry grew into nagging curiosity. I decided to explore the various causes as to why I was clocking extra 10-15 mins on a typical rainy day. Upon some observation and analysis, I came up with these 4 logical reasons:

Reason 1: In a rainy season, roads are slippery and people are more careful while driving their vehicles. Thus, as more people drive cautiously and therefore slowly, every body gets late to work.

Reason 2: People who earlier took 2-wheelers to work, were now resorting to a 4-wheeler to avoid rains. This increased the vehicle density during the peak traffic hours. More vehicles combined with cautious driving, delayed more people to work.

Reason 3: People with a 2-wheeler but who did not own a car, were resorting to using public transports or taxis during rains. This increased the traffic density and congestion further, delaying people to work.

Reason 4: The start of the rainy reason (July) is also roughly the time when the Schools reopen, and the starting time of a lot of schools is 9-9.30am. This increased number of School buses/ taxis/ vans and also parents who were dropping their children to school, added to the traffic woes and delayed others to work.

These are just some observations. How about finding some real data? Can we conclusively prove that on any rainy day, the time taken to reach your destination is more as compared to any other day?

I can probably find such a data at toll plazas. They keep log of all vehicles transiting. We can find out the number of 2-wheelers, 4-wheelers, taxis and public transport vehicles entering and exiting during peak/ non-peak hours and rainy/ non-rainy season.I'm going to try finding this data on some online sources.

Do you know any sources where such data could be found? What other reasons can you suggest?

For now, I'm just going to start to work a little early so I can reach on time! :)


  1. I'd like to point out a couple of more things, with your permission:

    - Public transport like trains and buses already run, so their increased usage might have a decrease in number of vehicles on the road. However, unfortunately, it is too minor to have a real offset to the other contributors of the delays

    - Breakdown of heavy vehicles like truck and buses, especially at critical junctions, flyovers and bottlenecks, further eats into the speed of the moving traffic. Such breakdowns seem to be more during rains

    1. Musing Munitions:

      Yeah, very uncannily these breakdowns happen more often during rains. I wonder why. Valid reason though.

  2. A few more -

    1. In India pot holes are full with water and you do not know which one might be deep beyond your expectation.

    2. People crossing roads on foot also walk cautiously to avoid slipping while protecting their clothes. This extra precaution disturbs the usual understanding between the driver and the pedestrian causing both of them to hesitate and slow down!!

    1. Yeah, worth pondering over.

      I am also trying to find out causes supported by data. Can you suggest some? Thanks.