Safe Driving in Rush Hour

Drivers commuting in the Philadelphia area spent more than four days’ time sitting in traffic in 2015, according to a TomTom study. We all know everyone on the road is in a rush to get home; however, statistics show you will spend an average of 26 minutes delayed in traffic every day. But it is important to remember, rush hour is more than annoying; it can be dangerous. Knowing how to stay safe driving in rush hour is key in keeping our roads accident-free.  

To avoid accidents, try following these five tips:

1) Drive Defensively

There is an aggressive driving epidemic on the nation’s highways, so it pays to know how to drive defensively. Whether a speeding commuter cuts you off or a reckless truck driver almost runs you off the road, you can reduce your risk of an accident by driving defensively.

At the heart of defensive driving is never assuming you know what another driver is planning to do. Essentially, you must be able to expect the unexpected. Avoiding assumptions includes expecting that:

  • Parked cars may not remain parked
  • Cars with turn signals on may not turn
  • Drivers may not yield as directed
  • Motorists may change lanes without warning

2) Remain Calm

Everyone agrees: traffic is infuriating. However, people tend to make irrational decisions when they are angry. For that reason, it is important to remain calm on your commute to and from work.

There are a number of ways to keep your wits about you. The key is finding what works for you. Some people focus on deep breathing exercises, while others listen to audiobooks or soothing music. In the event that another driver becomes upset or is driving aggressively, it is also important that you know how to de-escalate a road rage incident.

3) Plan Ahead

Sometimes the best way to conquer a rush hour traffic jam is to avoid it. In many cases, there is a less crowded route.

One of the best ways to avoid heavy traffic is to know several routes, and check for traffic incidents or volume before you leave. Some navigation apps even allow you to avoid major traffic stalls, but be sure to enter the destination before you leave and stow the phone while you are driving.

4) Try Traveling at a Different Time

Rush hour occurs because many people need to get to work at the same time, and many people get out of work at the same time. In some cases, you may be able to report earlier in the mornings and leave the office earlier each evening. Alternatively, you could come in late and leave late. Either of these options should help you miss the mad dash at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

If this is not possible, always make sure you give yourself plenty of time in case traffic is particularly bad. This will help you avoid engaging in reckless or aggressive driving.

5) Stay Focused

Regardless of whether you are flying down the highway at 80 mph or sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, cell phones are a serious distraction. You may feel like it is safe to text, make calls, or surf the Web, but focusing on your phone instead of the cars around you is a bad idea in any case.

Many traffic jams end with rear-end collisions and serious injuries.

Cordisco & Saile, LLC: Bucks County Car Accident Attorneys

If you suffer injuries in a PA or NJ rush hour crash caused by a negligent or careless motorist, Cordisco & Saile, LLC can help you hold the responsible party liable for your injuries. This may include recovering compensation for your medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Call our office today at 215-642-2335 to get started.