Most people work or attend school around the same time each day. The traditional 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. workday remains popular. That means local roads continue to be busiest during the morning commute and again in the evening. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that most car accidents occur during rush hour traffic, specifically between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Even people who do not work traditional hours wind up running errands that could put them on the road during rush hour traffic. Whether you routinely drive in rush hour traffic or just get caught in it on occasion, the following tips could help you avoid a car accident during this busy time.
Rushing through rush hour traffic greatly increases the risk for causing an accident. When the roads are packed and red lights back up traffic for two or three cycles, trying to hurry is not safe.
The best way to handle rush hour traffic is to be patient and maintain a safe following distance. That safe distance usually is about two car lengths, but other drivers might squeeze into that space. If they do, you should try to maintain as much of a safe distance as possible.
You also should try to drive the speed of traffic up to the posted speed limit. Odds are traffic will flow at a rate that is slower than the speed limit allows.
Changing lanes in rush hour traffic is dangerous. Drivers who frequently change lanes seldom arrive at their destinations faster. However, they do run the risk of causing an accident.
If you drive on multi-lane roads during rush hour traffic, you should only change lanes when it is absolutely necessary. You should have a good idea of when you will need to turn onto another road or into a driveway or parking lot.
You should drive in the lane that gets you to that turn. Unless something blocks your way, staying in your lane will lower the likelihood of an accident.
When the roads are packed during rush hour, it is very easy to miss a vehicle that is in your blind spot. You might even try to switch into a lane at the same time as another driver.
Open spots tend to close quickly whenever the roads are full of traffic. There is a lot of competition during rush hour. Staying in your lane while others compete for open spaces can help avoid an accident.
Rush hour traffic is highly stressful and requires you to pay close attention. Distractions can be especially problematic when there is virtually no room for error. You need to minimize potential distractions so that you can focus on driving safely. Turning off the cellphone is critical. Turning down the radio will also help you concentrate fully on driving.
You should not rummage around looking for items while driving. Keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel helps you drive safely when traffic is at its peak.
A busy street during rush hour is one that motorists generally view as the shortest and most direct way to and from their jobs. However, there are times that the most direct route is the longest one to take.
There might be alternate routes available that have less traffic. One of them might be faster and safer to drive during rush hour. The less traffic, the less stress that you have to endure during rush hour.
An alternate route might be a little longer, but the reduction in stress makes it worthwhile.
A properly maintained and perfectly functioning vehicle is a great way to avoid a car accident. It also will help you get the best fuel that is possible.
Worn brakes, bad tires, and lights that do not work are just a few of the many mechanical parts that could cause something to go wrong while you are driving. Even worn wiper blades could become a big problem if you get caught in a rain storm during rush hour.
Your vehicle’s owner’s manual clearly lists the factory-recommended maintenance intervals. You should follow the maintenance schedule to help keep your vehicle running at its best.
If you are mechanically inclined and have the right tools, you could perform a lot of standard maintenance. If not, you should find a reliable mechanic that offers discounts on brake inspections, tune-ups, oil changes, and other common maintenance issues.
You need to remain alert and not daydream or drive while your mind is on other matters. Anything less than your full attention on driving in rush hour traffic could lead to an accident.
Fatigue can also make staying alert difficult. Fatigued drivers are more prone to making mistakes. If you are wrapping up a long day of work, fatigue might be a problem. An extra cup of coffee might help relieve some your fatigue in the short term. Anything that helps you stay alert while driving improves your chance of avoiding an accident during rush hour traffic.
If you have an injury that was caused in rush hour traffic due to a negligent driver, our experienced Millsboro car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help you build a strong case. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.