Commuting in bumper-to-bumper traffic is a common reality for many Fresno motorists. Despite the slower speeds associated with it, this scenario requires the utmost attention to safety. Navigating heavily congested roads comes with distinct challenges and here are some tips to keep in mind from our Fresno car accident lawyers:
Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions
It’s crucial to pay close attention while you’re driving, especially amidst bumper-to-bumper traffic. A distraction as seemingly minor as checking a message on your cell phone, adjusting the radio, or fiddling with the GPS can potentially cause a car accident.
To ensure safety and avoid distractions:
- Keep your mobile phone out of reach or put it on “do not disturb” while commuting.
- Set up your preferred radio channel before hitting the road.
- Any adjustments in vehicle settings should be made prior to departure or should be done by a passenger if applicable.
Never underestimate the importance of keeping both hands on the steering wheel and your eyes responsibly glued on the road.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance
In bumper-to-bumper traffic, maintaining an appropriate distance from the vehicle ahead is essential in preventing any potential rear-end collisions, as sudden stops are common in heavy traffic situations. There’s always a higher risk for accidents when you’re following too closely because it shortens your reaction time if the car ahead suddenly brakes or stops.
Plan Your Commute
Before you hit the road, taking a few moments to plan your commute can be incredibly helpful. Checking traffic updates and weather conditions will allow you to anticipate potential delays and adjust your departure time accordingly.
It’s also wise to consider alternative routes – they may be longer in distance but might save time if they’re less congested. Apps like Waze or Google Maps are beneficial aids in providing real-time traffic information and suggesting the fastest possible routes.
Use Indicators and Check Blind Spots
The proper use of turn signals can’t be overstated. These simple lights communicate your intentions to other drivers, making the roads safer for everyone involved. Always signal before changing lanes or turning.
Additionally, make it a routine to regularly check all mirrors and consciously scan for vehicles in adjacent lanes before making any maneuvers. This helps you detect cars in ‘blind spots’ – areas not directly visible by looking forward or through either the rear-view or side mirrors.
Avoid Lane Hopping
It’s not uncommon to see drivers constantly switching lanes during heavy traffic in hopes of moving faster. However, this practice, known as lane hopping, can be risky and typically doesn’t significantly reduce your commute time.
Frequent lane changes increase the probability of accidents as every switch poses a new set of hazards. It also disrupts the flow of traffic by causing other vehicles to brake or adjust their speed to accommodate your maneuvers.
Stay Calm and Patient
Traffic can indeed be frustrating, particularly if you’re running late or anxious to get home at the end of a long day. However, try your best to stay calm. Remember that being aggressive or impatient while driving does not make traffic move any faster.
Take deep breaths, listen to soothing music or an audiobook – anything that helps you remain relaxed on the road – without diverting your attention away from the road! Showing tolerance towards other drivers’ mistakes is equally significant as everybody can have an off day.
Even with the utmost care and diligence on your part, accidents can happen due to others’ negligence. If you find yourself in such a situation, we’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.