Safety Tips for When You’re Driving in Traffic
July 15, 2022
Many of us need to drive daily to get to work or school. But daily driving can become a frustrating experience in urban and suburban areas. If you find yourself in busy or heavy traffic, you should keep a few basic safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of getting into a motor vehicle accident.
The most important tip to follow when driving in heavy traffic is to remain alert to your surroundings. Traffic tends to make some drivers more aggressive, including engaging in tailgating or darting between lanes to try to get a little further ahead. Being mindful of your surroundings can ensure that you are ready to react if another driver around you suddenly makes an unexpected or dangerous maneuver.
You should also resist the temptation to engage in aggressive driving yourself. In heavy traffic, you are likely to get to your destination just as quickly if you remain in your lane rather than frequently changing lanes. Heavy traffic also means that vehicles may need to come to a stop suddenly and quickly, so you should avoid speeding and leave a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Finally, you should also avoid the temptation to allow your mind to wander or to check your phone in heavy traffic since you have vehicles on all sides that could make a movement at any time.
Practice Defensive Driving
Practicing defensive driving techniques will also help keep you safe in heavy traffic. Good defensive driving practices include:
- Always signaling before every turn and lane change, so that other drivers know what you intend to do
- Turn your head to check your blind spot before changing lanes
- Frequently check side and rearview mirrors for changes in the traffic around you
- Try to yield to other vehicles rather than aggressively keeping your position in traffic, as otherwise, you may end up causing a collision
- Stay centered in your lane
- Expect the unexpected and always have an “out” if another driver makes a sudden maneuver
Keep Up with Vehicle Maintenance
Driving in heavy traffic can put a great deal of wear and tear on a vehicle. You can help reduce wear on your car by accelerating and braking gradually in stop-and-go traffic. But you should also keep up with all recommended and necessary maintenance for your vehicle. Failing to maintain your vehicle may result in mechanical failures when you put your vehicle through the rigors of driving in heavy or stop-and-go traffic. This can make you a hazard on the road if your vehicle breaks down, or may cause you to end up in a collision with another driver.
Finally, another great safety tip for traffic involves planning ahead. You may want to check traffic conditions before setting off to see if you might find yourself in heavy traffic. If there are a lot of vehicles on the road, consider waiting to leave (if you can) to allow traffic to lighten up. Alternatively, try to leave earlier so that you give yourself enough time to get to your destination on time and do not feel pressure to speed or engage in aggressive driving to make up for traffic delays.
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Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 766-1455 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Home visits can be arranged in certain situations.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.