Driving in rush hour traffic is never fun, especially if you're in a hurry to reach your destination. Regardless of how hard you try to avoid a traffic jam, it's difficult to do so when commuting during the busy morning and evening hours.
Your safety is top priority, so here are five tips to keep in mind when you find yourself navigating rush hour traffic.
- Leave extra time in your schedule: You don't want to find yourself behind the wheel and in a rush. It's best to leave extra time in your schedule, as you won't feel nearly as much pressure when traffic comes to a halt.
- Stay in your lane: Don't be one of those drivers who switches from lane to lane in an attempt to save a few minutes. This is dangerous to both you and other drivers on the road, so choose your lane and stay there until it's time to exit.
- Consider other routes: You may have to drive more miles to take another route, but it's often worth it if you're able to avoid heavy traffic. Experiment with several routes to best determine which one is safest and most time-efficient.
- Leave more following space: Even when traffic is moving slowly, don't get into the habit of too closely following the vehicle in front of yours. This doesn't leave you much time to react in the event of an emergency.
- Stay focused on the road: When moving slowly, it's easy to believe you can focus your attention on things other than the task at hand. You assume it's okay to send a text. You assume it's okay to turn around and talk to passengers in the backseat. Any time you take your eyes off the road, you're increasing the risk of an accident.
Following these five driving safety tips will help keep you safe in rush hour traffic. However, they don't do anything to change what other drivers are doing.
If a negligent driver causes an accident, you should try to move to the shoulder if your vehicle is not disabled or a nearby parking lot. You can then assess your injuries and damage to your vehicle, and call 911 if necessary.