Now that summer is here, everyone seems to have somewhere to go. Whether it’s a cross-country family vacation or a day trip to the beach, people are out and about more than usual, which translates to heavier traffic on the roads. Nothing can ruin a fun summer day more quickly than getting in a car accident. Here are some tips to drive safely in heavy traffic:
1. Leave extra time and avoid rush hour, if possible. Be aware of when traffic is busiest in your area, and try to avoid traveling at those times, if at all possible. Also, always leave yourself extra traveling time so you are not in a rush when you’re on the road. If you’re in a hurry or anxious to get somewhere, you’ll likely be driving more recklessly and more likely to get in an accident.
2. Be extra alert of your surroundings. Be looking far enough ahead to avoid having to slam on the breaks when you hit traffic. Keep ample distance between yourself and the car in front of you to decrease your chances of getting in a fender bender if traffic suddenly comes to a holt.
3. Avoid any distractions in the car. If you have a passenger, have them control the radio for you, or set your station or playlist before you hit the road. Never text while driving (it is illegal), and avoid talking on your hands-free headset if you know you’ll be hitting traffic.
4. Be patient and remain calm. Understand that being stuck in traffic happens to everyone and that the situation is out of your control. Don’t try to rush or lose your patience, as this will likely result in reckless driving. Always keep in mind that getting to your destination safely is more important than getting there quickly.
5. Exit the freeway if you are too nervous or stressed. If bad traffic gives you anxiety or you find yourself feeling irritated or impatient, take the nearest exit off the freeway and either take the backroads or pull over somewhere and allow yourself to calm down and wait for traffic to clear. Driving when you are feeling stressed, anxious or angry can leave you distracted and a hazard on the road for yourself and those around you.
We hope you enjoyed this post. If there is anything else we can do to help you feel free to call us at (805) 466-2446 (Atascadero) or (805) 239-8752 (Paso Robles). And be sure to stay connected with us on Facebook as well!