September 13th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
According to data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), if you drive during after-work rush hour, you have a significantly higher probability of dying from a car crash compared with other times of the day. Our intention is not to make you worry but to underscore that driving in heavy traffic carries risks. In this post we are going to show you how to reduce those risks and, as a result, help ensure your safety and peace of mind.
Driving in traffic
On average, American drivers spend 42 extra hours in the car every year due to traffic congestion, according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report. How to drive in city traffic requires patience and an ability to focus. Here are some driving tips to help you maintain your composure and your safety in heavy traffic:
Whenever you’re driving in traffic, be focused and present, especially in heavy traffic. If you are driving home from work while replaying in your mind the awkward exchange you just had with your boss, or planning what you’re going to make for dinner, you are not present. Keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times and your eyes fastened on the road. Minimize distractions and, whatever you do, hands off your cell phone!
Practice good driver etiquette
How to drive in city traffic can be a challenge. Be polite, avoid unnecessary honking, and always turn your head to check your blind spots before changing lanes. Remember, aggressive driving and road rage are on the rise. If a driver weaves into your lane and cuts you off or refuses to let you merge, take a deep breath and let it pass. If you allow yourself to be provoked, next thing you know you’re in a heated confrontation. Be kind and cordial to your fellow drivers, no matter what.
Avoid slamming on the brakes
If you’re looking for tips on how to drive car in traffic, here is an important one: Give yourself plenty of distance – at least three seconds of a cushion – between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will allow you time to apply your brakes gradually if needed. Slamming on the brakes can not only cause a chain reaction leading to a collision, but over time also cause premature aging of your brake pads! If a car in front of you brakes, it doesn’t mean you have to apply your brakes instantly. Instead, try reducing your speed by removing your foot form the accelerator and applying the brake pedal only if you need to.
Don’t ride the clutch.
In heavy bumper to bumper traffic, it’s very tempting to rest your foot on the clutch pedal while you’re driving. However, avoid doing this as it can cause friction and shorten your clutch’s lifespan
Watch your speed
Yes, we get it – you’re in a hurry to get to your destination. But zooming in and out of different lanes like it’s the autobahn is not helping, not to mention the likelihood of an accident. Take a deep breath, reduce your speed, and watch your stress evaporate.
Indicate your intentions
When driving in traffic – especially heavy traffic – communication becomes very important. Use your turn-signal indicators and, if there’s any confusion, make eye contact with the other driver and use hand gestures (but not that gesture!) to communicate.
If you find yourself in a car accident and need reliable collision repair, Fix Auto USA is open for business and ready to serve you.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Brea, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing Orange County and surrounding communities throughout Southern California.