Even if you do your best to avoid rush hour traffic, it's not always possible to do so. There will be times when you find yourself in gridlock, not-quite-grinning and bearing it.
While sitting in traffic is bad enough, things can get even worse if you're part of an accident. Here are five tips you can follow to avoid a rush hour accident:
- Pay attention: When traffic is moving slowly, you may be tempted to send a text message, make a phone call or even browse online with your smartphone stuck to your dashboard invitingly. All of these things are distractions that can take your mind off the task at hand, thus increasing the risk of an accident.
- Leave more time in your schedule: You don't want to be in a hurry when sitting in traffic, as it could cause you to take risks on the road. If you leave extra time in your schedule, you won't feel additional pressure as you sit in traffic.
- Leave more following space: Even in bumper-to-bumper traffic you should do your best to leave more space between your vehicle and the one in front of yours. This gives you more time to stop, such as in the event of an emergency.
- Change your route: If there's another route to your destination, try it. Even if it takes a bit longer, if you can avoid standstill traffic it may be worth it.
- Stay in your lane: If there is more than one lane, you may be tempted to move around in an attempt to make up time. It may seem like the other lane is always moving faster, but that doesn't mean you should jump around. Doing this won't save you much time, but will increase the chance of a crash.
You may not be in the habit of following these tips right now, but once you make some key changes they will become second nature.
If you're ever part of a rush hour accident, keep in mind that moving your vehicle to the side of the road will enhance your safety. Also, calling 911 will give you peace of mind, as this ensures that an ambulance and police will quickly arrive at the scene.
Once you receive medical treatment and better understand the cause of the accident, you can then learn more about your legal rights and the steps you need to take.