Our Top 5 Tips for Driving Safely in Heavy Traffic
Here in Albuquerque , NM and all over the country, traffic jams are sadly a big part of many drivers' lives and the anxiety created by them can seriously impact their performance on the road. To navigate safely through heavy traffic, drivers must be extra aware of their surroundings and give their full attention to all driving conditions, because they can change in a millisecond.
We fix a lot of cars here at Mr. B's Paint & Body, Inc. have been caused by issues associated with heavy traffic. But, if you adhere to some of the simple driving guidelines we've outlined here, you’re sure to pull through that next traffic jam without any unnecessary drama.
1.) Remove all distractions: Driving in heavy traffic conditions means that the road will be jammed with cars and the flow of traffic will be unpredictable at best. This will make drivers impatient, leading them to make rash decisions like speeding, tailgating and changing lanes in an unsafe fashion. Too many people decide to start multi-tasking the minute they jump in their car, so be sure to turn off your cell phone or at least mute it; turn off the music if it's distracting you and ask your passengers to quiet down until you’re free of the heavy traffic.
2.) Drive defensively: Defensive driving includes a wide range of different skills you should call upon to prevent dangerous scenarios before they actually take place. Planning is one of the best ways to help you as you react in an emergency situation, such as merging or stopping quickly. Defensive driving means keeping your eyes continually on traffic and road conditions and identifying vehicles that appear unsafe, like drivers who are erratically merging across lanes, speeding at a high rate or drifting inside their lane.
3.) Make arrangements to avoid heavy traffic: In many instances, leaving simply 15 minutes before the beginning or immediately after the end of rush hour can noticeably cut down the amount of traffic on your daily commute.
4.) Pay special attention to heavy traffic on the road ahead: Whenever you're approaching a jammed section of the road, slow down and coast forward. This will cut down on the wear and tear on your brakes and friction will slow down your vehicle gradually. This will moderate your speed while reducing your fuel usage as well.
5.) Allow a 3-second distance between you and the car in front of you: You should always estimate how many seconds of distance is between you and the car directly in front of you. To achieve this, pick out a road sign and count slowly up from “one” as the car in front passes the sign. Then adjust your speed appropriately. More space (and time) between you and the car in front of you will give you more time to react if the vehicle abruptly stops for whatever reason.
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Sources: AARP, NHTSA and AAA