If you live in or around an area where there are a lot of commuters on the road, you are probably familiar with congestion and its effects on drivers. Getting stuck in a traffic jam can be annoying, stressful, and frustrating, especially when you’re in a hurry to get to work or somewhere in a timely manner.
Keep in mind, however, that car accidents are more likely to occur on roads that are heavily congested. Below, we discuss a few factors that lead to crashes during traffic jams.
Sharing the Road
When the road is open, drivers have more time to brake and there are fewer cars around them that require attention. In times of traffic, however, there are more cars packed together with less space in between them. Ultimately, sharing the road with more cars at once inherently increases the risk that two cars will collide.
Lane changes can also be more challenging in traffic when either other drivers don’t share the road or a merging driver attempts to wedge themselves in a tight space in stop-and-go traffic.
When roads are congested, drivers may let their guards down and pay less attention to the road in front of them, thinking that the slow-moving traffic couldn’t possibly get any slower. They may look down at their phones more and take their feet off the brakes for longer than they should.
The frequent stop-and-go pattern that is common in traffic jams can ultimately lead to rear-end collisions. As a driver, you should always keep a safe buffer between your car and the car in front of you. Additionally, eliminate all distractions so that you can adjust to the situations around you.
Road rage and aggressive driving is a common cause of collisions, especially in traffic jams. Nobody wants to be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, especially when we all have places to go. But it’s never a safe idea to engage in aggressive driving, such as weaving, tailgating, or swerving, even if another driver is doing so. Maintaining a calm demeanor can go a long way and, ultimately, help you make decisions for the best interest of safety, versus ones that are made on emotions.
Avoiding a Car Collision During a Traffic Jam
Never think that you are immune from getting into a car crash just because you’re not driving fast. Here are a few tips that you can follow when driving on congested highways:
- Leave ahead of time so that you have more wiggle room to get to your destination.
- Put your phone away and eliminate other distractions.
- Make smart driving decisions; use your blinkers and stay focused on the road in front of you.
- Check your route for any traffic jams along the way; if it’s particularly problematic on a certain day, go an alternative route.a
If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident in Virginia, the attorneys at Huffman & Huffman are here to review your case for free and fight for the compensation you need to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Contact our Newport News injury attorneys at (757) 330-3425 to get started with a no-fee, no-obligation consultation today.