Commuting to and from work may be second nature to you, but that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. It’s critical that you do everything you can to prevent an accident.
Here are five of the most important safe driving tips for commuters:
- Know your route: Choose the route that you consider the safest and then learn it like the back of your hand. This will position you to best deal with anything that comes up along the way.
- Avoid distractions: When commuting in slow-moving traffic, it’s easy to lose your train of thought. You begin to search for ways to pass the time, so you pick up your phone, talk to your passengers or eat something. All of these distractions, among others, greatly increase the risk of an accident.
- Keep a safe following distance: Even when traffic is slow moving, you should maintain a safe following distance to ensure that you have time to stop. There’s no good reason to “ride the bumper” of the vehicle in front of yours.
- Watch for pedestrians: While most your focus will turn to other vehicles, pedestrians, such as people crossing the street, should also be on your radar.
- Exercise patience: This may be the number one tip you can follow. If you become impatient, maybe because you’re running late for a big meeting, you’ll begin to take risks. For example, you may attempt to speed through a red light or pass a slow moving vehicle in the right lane. As you take these risks, you’re putting yourself and others in a compromising position. Exercise patience, even if you’re running late.
It’s nice to know that following these tips will help keep you safe during your commute. However, they don’t do anything to change the behavior of other drivers.
If a negligent driver causes an accident, such as striking your vehicle from behind in heavy traffic, move to safety and check yourself for injuries. It’s also a good idea to call 911 so the appropriate help arrives at the scene.
After you receive medical treatment, the next step is filing an insurance claim and considering other ways to hold the negligent party responsible for your damages.