Traffic jams have become a common sight across the cities in the USA. Whether you blame it on the unorganized intersection points, frequent constructions of buildings, rush-hour backups or any similar incidents; road congestion is something you cannot ignore to deal with. It may be more of a concern if you are a new driver and wish to commute to the workplace, university, or friends by your personal vehicle.
Driving in heavy traffic can be indeed dangerous and frustrating. It calls for your complete attention on the surroundings as well as awareness of other drivers around. With so much to focus on, many drivers feel the anxiety and as a result, impact their performance on the road. However, with some basic driving guidelines in mind, pulling through may not be as challenging as you think. Here are a few tips to help you –
The best way to reach your destination on time is to avoid heavy traffic situations in the first place. That means either you take a different route with little or no heavy moving vehicles or start from the home at least fifteen minutes before your usual timing to avoid the rush. The peak traffic hours may vary in your area or city, so depending upon when you expect the flow of traffic to be the heaviest, plan your driving timings accordingly.
If you happen to run into a lot of traffic, it is advised to slow down and not zigzag on the lanes. You might be tempted to drive faster to avoid delays, but cannot save much time by doing that anyway. There can be unforeseen obstacles arising out of nowhere; and by driving hastily and losing your patience, you can end up causing a vehicle collision or crash. So, take your foot off the accelerator and keep your eyes peeled on the road.
Merge, Don’t Weave
As hinted upon a while ago, switching the lanes rapidly isn’t a wise move to make. It is because you can never predict what other drivers are up to, so playing around the road can land you up with regrets later. The safest thing to do is to wait and watch the flow and speed of other vehicles and merge with them slowly as you get a chance. Remember not to overestimate your driving capabilities or move in and out; it is totally unnecessary and risky.
Maintain a Reasonable Distance
Our driving school experts cannot stress enough that drivers have to keep a buffer zone (distance) with vehicles that are ahead. This gives time to react and apply brakes in case of an unforeseen obstacle or an erratic driver coming your way. Generally, it is recommended to keep two to five seconds distance between you and other cars. You can measure that with steady objects such as light poles or road signs. Also, be vigilant for brake lights. If you find the driver in front slowing down, you should do that too.
Practice Defensive Driving
Just because you are practising safe driving doesn’t mean that other drivers are too. Some drivers can be extremely rash and aggressive and some can be completely negligent – either way, it is your loss. So, don’t try to indulge with them or get too close. Use your defensive driving skills and be proactive with your responses. Try to identify unsafe vehicles and road turns. And, let the other drivers know what you are doing by giving them proper indicators. Almost all states have a five-second limit to turn on your blinker, thus ensure you follow that.