April 25, 2022
How Can I Avoid a Car Accident in Rush Hour Traffic?
More than four million people reside in the five-county area in and around the city of Philadelphia. That population density makes for slow-moving commutes to work and school, as many of the roads are highly congested during rush-hour traffic.
The morning rush hour generally starts at about 7:30 a.m. and the evening rush hour at 5:00 p.m. Evening traffic often is worse than the morning rush due to more people getting out of work at about the same time.
Morning start times for workers often are staggered and affected by things like the length of the lunch break. Staggering the start can help to lengthen the morning rush hour , but it also cuts down on traffic congestion.
If you find yourself drive during rush hour, the following tips could help you to avoid a traffic accident.
Avoid All Distractions
Rush hour often brings chaos with it. Lots of vehicles and drivers heading in all directions make it very difficult to focus on safe driving. You can improve your focus by turning off your cellphone and minimizing any distractions while you are driving.
A cellphone is a primary form of driver distraction and a leading cause of car accidents and road fatalities. The younger you are, the more likely you are among those who become distracted by talking or texting while driving. That could have deadly results.
So, leaving the cellphone off and focusing on driving is the best way to avoid accidents while driving during rush hour.
You also should keep the audio at a low volume. If you carry one or more passengers, they should do their best to avoid distracting behavior while you are driving.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance
Getting in a hurry during rush hour is problematic. The faster you drive, the more likely you will follow other vehicles too closely. Following too closely makes it impossible to react to changing traffic conditions. It also could cause you to drive into the rear end of a vehicle travelling much more slowly or that is stopped.
You should do your best to drive at the speed of traffic and maintain at least a 2-second gap between your vehicle and the one you are following. That can be difficult due to other motorists occupying any space that opens up during rush hour. But you still need to do your best to follow at a safe distance.
Staying patient, driving at a reasonable speed, and paying attention to other traffic will help you to prevent accidents.
Limit Your Lane Changes
Changing lanes is a dangerous maneuver that is made more difficult during rush hour traffic. Your vehicle has blind spots that could hide an entire vehicle. And busy roads tend to force vehicles to follow more closely than they would when maintaining a safe distance.
The more often that you change lanes during rush hour traffic, the more likely you are to cut off another vehicle. You might even try to pull into an open space at the same time as another vehicle. And no two vehicles can occupy the same space.
It helps to plan your trip to or from work. You should determine which lane will take you to where you need to go and stay in it. That will enable you to turn when needed to exit the crowded roadway.
Learn and Use Alternate Routes as Needed
Most people regularly travel the same routes to and from work. You know of some alternate routes that might be a little longer in distance.
If those routes have lighter traffic during rush hour, they could serve as ideal alternatives to heavily trafficked roads during rush hour. It might be a bit farther and take longer than more direct routes. But it also could be faster and safer during rush hour.
You also should learn alternate routes that you can take as traffic conditions change. Traffic might flow smoothly one minute and suddenly turn into a traffic jam if an accident occurs. Having alternate routes available could enable you to take them and leave the jammed roadway in the rearview mirror.
Pay Attention to Live Traffic Reports
If you have access to the Internet or can use your cellphone during work hours, you can check local road conditions. Many local TV stations and other news sources provide local motorists with current traffic conditions.
The traffic reports show where accidents are tying up traffic and the average speed of traffic flows through congested areas. Knowing where the traffic jams are located can help you to map out an alternate route that will get you home as safely as possible.
While driving, you can tune into local radio stations that provide live traffic reports. That could help you to make changes while driving to your destination and avoid one or more accident scenes and accompanying slow traffic.
Maintain Your Vehicle
It is important to keep your vehicle in top running condition and especially in rush hour traffic. A flat tire or a dead battery could be enough to cause a massive traffic backup. Changing a tire on the side of a busy a terribly busy road or highway is downright dangerous.
All lights should work, and your brakes need to be in decent shape to maintain safe speeds and help you to make fully controlled stops. A defective tail light or brake light at dusk could confuse other motorists. One might not know you are slowing down or have come to a stop and might hit the rear end of your vehicle.
The headlights need to be in good condition so that you can see and be seen by others. The turn signals need to work so that other drivers know that you intend to change lanes or turn onto another road.
A well-maintained vehicle with fully functioning safety devices is one of your best protections against accidents during rush hour.
Norristown Car Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Can Help You if You Have Been Hurt in a Rush Hour Collision
One of our experienced Norristown car accident lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. can help if you have been injured in rush hour traffic. Fill out our online form or call us at 267-861-7100 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Norristown.