Navigating your vehicle in heavy traffic is stressful – and dangerous. To avoid a collision, follow these simple tips for safer driving in heavy traffic.
- Relax. You will eventually reach your destination, and being a few minutes late is better than being involved in a collision!
- Drive Defensively. Other drivers may drive aggressively, weaving in and out of traffic to try to save a few minutes. Keep your eyes on the surrounding vehicles and drop back if another individual is driving aggressively.
- Keep a Distance. Follow the three-second rule and maintain a space between your vehicle and the one ahead. This offers you a safe stopping distance, as well as the ability to change lanes when needed.
- Avoid Distractions. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of vehicle accidents. In a recent year, over 2,800 people died, and an estimated 900,000 were injured in crashes involving driver distraction, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Avoid any cell phone use while driving. Cell phone conversations and texting are among the primary causes of distracted driving accidents.
- Use Your Signals. If you are changing lanes, signal. Other drivers may not signal and suddenly change lanes, so ensure you shoulder check before moving into another lane.
- Use your Mirrors. Stay alert and watch the surrounding traffic behind and beside you. If another driver is tailgating, move into another lane as soon as you can safely.
- Brake Carefully. If traffic slows, use your brakes carefully if another driver is close behind your vehicle. Touch your brakes to activate your brake lights, and then slow to help avoid a rear-end collision.
- Pay Attention when Merging. When merging into a moving line of traffic, watch for drivers who may try to close the gap before you enter the lane.
- Plan Your Drive. Before you drive, check a driving mobile app for congested areas, and choose an alternate route when possible.
- Avoid Driving Tired. If you lack sleep, you are at a higher risk of being in an accident. Do your best to get enough sleep before driving.
- Pull Over to Make Calls. Rather than making a cell phone call while driving, pull over to make your call.
- Plan Ahead for Added Time. If you know you will be stuck in heavy traffic, leave early enough to make it to your destination on time.
- Report Aggressive Driving. If you see a driver that is endangering others, call the police.
Unsafe Driving Facts
The National Safety Council has identified the six most unsafe driving behaviors to avoid:
- Right of Way Violations
- Improper Turns
- Improper Passing
- Following too Closely
- Driving Left of Center
When an Accident Happens
If you are involved in a minor fender-bender accident during heavy traffic, move your vehicle to the side. Never exit your car when stopped in moving traffic. If you, a passenger, or another driver is injured, call 911 and administer first aid.
Your auto insurance becomes a vital issue after an accident. While we all hope to avoid collisions, even if you follow the rules of the road during an entire lifetime of driving, you are likely to be involved in an accident. Talk to one of our friendly agents to discuss your auto insurance policy. If you live in a region with a high percentage of uninsured drivers, ensure you have enough uninsured motorist coverage. Your auto insurance may be lower in price when bundled with your other insurances. We are happy to find the best deal for your budget.