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Driving Tips for Traffic Jams

How to Stay Safe in High Traffic Areas

As you’re taking road trips, teaching kids how to drive, or getting in those last-minute summer vacations, you’re bound to experience a traffic jam or two. Although the stop-and-go doesn’t appear to take much effort, road congestion can be a significant risk factor for rear-end crashes and pile-ups every year. No matter the circumstances, here are some essential tips for getting through a traffic jam.

Keep a Safe Stopping Distance

In stop-and-go traffic, it’s important to maintain a safe stopping distance between you and the car in front of you. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends a minimum of three seconds. If the road is wet or slippery, you should increase your following distance to at least four or five seconds. You can measure this by watching the car ahead of you pass a stationary object like a sign, tree, or overpass and counting “one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three” until your car passes that same object.

Avoid Riding Your Brakes

Riding the brakes or resting your foot on the brake pedal, is not recommended in traffic jams. If you do this, they can overheat, and you could end up with decreased braking power when you need it most. Instead of continually pressing your foot on the brake pedal, slow down by downshifting to a lower gear. This will help reduce your speed without putting strain on your brakes.

Look for an Exit

If the traffic jam is long and isn’t moving anytime soon, try to look for an exit that will get you off the highway. Once you’re off the interstate, you can take surface streets or back roads to avoid congestion.

Expect Delays

Whenever possible, plan your route around traffic jams by checking online maps or listening to traffic reports before hitting the road. If you know there’s going to be traffic, give yourself extra time so you’re not rushed.

Remain Calm

Getting angry or tense behind the wheel will not make the traffic jam disappear. In fact, it could make the situation worse by causing you to take unnecessary risks. If you feel yourself getting agitated, take a few deep breaths and try to relax.

Keep safe this summer by avoiding reckless driving in traffic jams or even the open road. Should you be involved in an injury crash caused by another driver, we can help you pursue a personal injury claim. Contact Steele Adams Hosman by calling (801) 999-1506 to discuss your legal options.