Advice for Safe Driving in Heavy Traffic
Traffic can be a schlep, especially after a long day at the office. These days, South Africa’s roads are known for the backed up lanes, especially in the morning before 9am and in the evening when everyone is trying to rush home and relax!
Bumper-to-bumper traffic doesn’t seem to have any danger attached to it though, as cars are moving at a glacial pace. However, you will be surprised at the number of accidents that occur during peak hour traffic.
How do we avoid accidents in heavy traffic?
Yes, tempers flare up during traffic jams, but bear in mind that everyone is frustrated and the situation isn’t likely to change. Avoid aggressive driving and weaving from lane to lane.
Keep a safe distance of at least three seconds between you and the vehicle ahead of you. This will help you avoid frequent braking and rear-end collisions.
It is easy to start day dreaming when you are in heavy traffic. The next thing you know, you have rolled your car straight into the car in front of you! Be sure to see when the car in front of you brakes. Keep your mind on driving by avoiding distractions such as eating or using your cell phone.
Be cautious not to brake abruptly!
Remember, the car behind you is copying you, so give him some time to react! The last thing you want is to be rear-ended.
Defensive driving includes the skills and situational awareness needed to prevent dangerous situations on the road before they occur, says Arrive Alive. Drive in a manner that will allow the time and space for you to respond swiftly to any emergency situation.
Adjust driving to the traffic, road and weather conditions and scan the traffic and road conditions continuously.
Drive at a Safe Speed
Follow the general flow of traffic – driving too slow can make other drivers around you impatient, agitated and lead to dangerous driving situations. Also, pay attention to heavy traffic in the distance. When approaching a crowded section of road, you should take your foot off the accelerator and coast forward, allowing friction to slow your vehicle.