Traffic accidents cost America around $871.6 billion annually. For every person that dies in a traffic accident, many others suffer from life-long injuries.
Because of this, many governmental and non-governmental agencies working to reduce traffic accidents. However, you can also contribute by understanding what causes accidents and how to avoid them.
Here, we cover how to avoid accidents during rush hour traffic. This can help you and your loved ones travel safer and get to their destinations without mishaps.
1. Check Your Vehicle Thoroughly
Before getting behind the wheel during rush hour traffic, it’s important to check your vehicle to ensure everything is in working order. This means regular maintenance and tune-ups, as well as checking fluid levels, tire pressure, and tread depth, and making sure all lights and signals are working properly. Be sure your tires are properly inflated and have enough tread to grip the road.
If your tires are low on air, they can blow out and cause an accident. If the tread is worn down, you may not be able to stop as quickly as you need to. Issues with brakes are one of the most common causes of accidents, so be sure to inspect your brakes regularly.
Make sure headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals are all working properly. Additionally, keep your lights clean and free of debris for optimal visibility. If any of your lights are not working, replace them as soon as possible.
Also, be sure to clean your windshield and mirrors before you drive. If you can’t see clearly, you are more likely to get into an accident. If you notice any problems with your vehicle, make sure to get them fixed as soon as possible.
2. Check Weather Forecast
When driving in rush hour traffic, it is important to be aware of the conditions around you. Checking the weather before you leave can help you avoid accidents. If the forecast calls for inclement weather, take extra caution while driving.
If the forecast is bad weather, allow yourself extra time to get to your destination. Slow down and allow for more space between you and other vehicles.
Pay attention to the road and be prepared for unexpected changes in traffic flow. If possible, avoid traveling altogether until conditions improve.
3. Leave Early to Avoid Rush Hour
Many accidents during rush hour traffic are caused by drivers who are in a hurry, not paying attention, and not driving safely. Most people realize that traffic is a higher risk during the morning and evening rush hours. One of the best ways to avoid accidents during rush hour traffic is to leave early.
This gives you more time to get to your destination and avoid being in a rush. It also allows you to take your time and be more aware of your surroundings.
If you can’t avoid rush hour, then try to take less traveled routes and back roads which may time a bit more time. This will help you avoid the bulk of the traffic and hopefully the accidents that happen during those peak hours.
If you can, avoid driving in heavy traffic altogether. Instead, take public transportation or carpool so that you can relax and avoid the stress of traffic. This also means you will have to leave earlier.
4. Follow the Traffic Rules
Obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals. It also means using common sense and courtesy when interacting with other drivers. For example, always yield to pedestrians and never try to speed through a yellow light.
Also, avoid tailgating and other aggressive driving behaviors. Leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. This will give you time to brake if necessary.
Signal your intention to change lanes or turn well in advance and do not make sudden moves that could startle or anger other drivers.
Do not honk your horn unnecessarily. This can aggravate other drivers and lead to road rage. Also, pay attention to other drivers and be on the lookout for hazards.
5. Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions
To help avoid accidents during rush hour, drivers should stay alert and avoid distractions. It can be tempting to check your phone or daydream when you’re stuck in a long line of cars, but it’s important to stay focused on the road.
If you must use your phone, pull over to a safe location first. Also, be sure to use your turn signal so other drivers know what you’re doing. Likewise, if you’re feeling drowsy, take a break at a rest stop.
6. Be Patient on the Road
Patience is key when you are driving during traffic rush hour. This can be difficult, especially when you’re running late, but it’s important to keep your cool. There will be a lot of cars on the road and everyone will be going at a slow speed.
You need to be patient and not get frustrated. If you get frustrated, you may end up getting into an accident, so take a few deep breaths and focus on relaxing.
Many accidents happen when drivers become impatient and make sudden movements. By remaining calm and patient, you are less likely to make sudden movements that could lead to an accident.
And no matter how you avoid any accidents, an accident may still come along the way. If that happens, make sure to get the help of South Bay Accident Lawyers to help you with accident cases, be it a major one or a minor one.
Avoid Rush Hour Traffic Accidents
It is important to be aware of your surroundings and take extra precautions when driving during rush hour traffic. Remember to give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination by leaving early.
You also need to check your vehicle condition, check the weather forecast, follow traffic rules, stay alert and be patient on the road. By taking these measures, you can be a better driver and make the roads a safer place for everyone.
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