Tips That Can Help Make Your Morning and Evening Commute a Safer One
The last thing anyone wants to spend time doing is sitting in traffic after a long day of work, especially those who are required to commute. Unfortunately, many drivers find themselves sitting in rush hour traffic after spending their entire day at an office with an hour or so more to go until they make it home. Not only does this take away from their time to relax and wind down, but it also contributes to drivers becoming more frustrated and likely to engage in risky behavior.
Did you know that high-angry drivers are more likely to get angry faster, behave more aggressively, and are prone to engaging in more accidents [Source: American Psychological Foundation]?
In an effort to help make your commute safer and keep you “sane” at the same time, below are a few tips provided on behalf of State Farm for you to consider implementing the next time you are driving to or home from work.
- Try leaving for work a little earlier. Although this might not be the ideal solution you want to hear, it can definitely help to leave home a little earlier than those who might be traveling the same route as you so you bypass the traffic. If you get to work a little earlier, at least you avoided morning rush hour traffic and can start your day feeling a little more relaxed. When you leave earlier and avoid getting caught in traffic, you are less likely to speed to get to work in time. Did you know that “speeding plays a role in approximately one-third of traffic deaths each year?”
- Wear appropriate footwear. Are you aware that “your shoes affect your ability to control your car in some situations?” If you’re someone who wears high heels or open-heel shoes to work, perhaps you might consider bringing a change of shoes for the ride home as “open-heel shoes can slip off and wedge under pedals while high heels can catch on floor mats, delaying [your ability to accelerate or brake].”
- Drive without any distractions. Anything that could cause you to take your hands or eyes off the wheel should be avoided at all costs while driving. Your cellphone should be kept out of sight or away from you so that you are less inclined to pick it up to check emails, get caught up on social media, answer a call, etc. In fact, because cell phones serve as a factor in many of the car accidents that transpire annually, the State of CA has decided to make it illegal to use a cell phone or other type of electronic communication device while holding it in your hand. The California Office of Traffic Safety says that you are permitted to use it “when in a hands-free manner, such as speakerphone or voice commands,” that is unless you are under the age of 18. Those who are under the age of 18 are not permitted to use their cellphones at all.
- Avoid aggressive driving. As difficult as it might be to do this after having experienced a tough day at work, it is extremely important that you remain calm and refrain from getting upset while driving. “Aggressive driving is a major factor in U.S. traffic accidents,” many of which are fatal [Source: Insurance Information Institute]. Therefore, if a driver cuts you off or is following too close, rather than get upset or angry, it is best to move out of their way and continue driving calmly and carefully. The last thing you want or need to is to engage in a serious or even fatal collision.
- Protect your eyes from the harsh sunlight. Driving, in general, can be challenging as you must be able to pay attention to the other drivers who are traveling around you. However, driving with the sun in your eyes only makes the task more difficult to so. If your morning or evening commute “coincides with the sunrise or sunset,” consider wearing a pair of polarized sunglasses and keep your windshield clean as it “maximizes visibility.” You will also want to reduce your speed when the bright sun is shining in your face and leave additional space between you and the vehicle in front you so that you have more time to stop in the event traffic begins to slow.
We always recommend that you at least consult with a San Diego, CA accident attorney following the occurrence of a crash as it might benefit you to file a lawsuit for damages. Although you might think your insurer or that of the other driver will pay for your vehicle repairs and/or medical expenses, not always will the handle your claim fairly. So, if you would like to discuss the recent accident you were involved in with an experienced lawyer, contact The Law Offices of Bruce S. Meth today.