What To Remember When Driving Through Heavy Traffic
Being on the road can be a great way to relax your mind until you are stuck in traffic due to congestion, weather conditions or roadworks. It’s less than ideal and could lead to a higher risk of accidents as more drivers find it challenging to navigate through the chaos. Read on for what to remember when driving through heavy traffic.
Most drivers are, at some point, guilty of being distracted while on the road. From being on the phone to enjoying a convenient meal before reaching their destination, distracted driving is more common than you might think. However, taking time to focus on how you are driving is crucial to ensure you remain safe on the roads.
Distractions contribute significantly to the increase in road incidents over the years. Failure to maintain your attention when driving can lead to unwanted life-threatening situations. Here are some practical tips to help make your driving experience safer:
- Only use your smartphone if there’s an emergency.
- Pull over on the side of the road when you feel tired or fatigued.
- Avoid multitasking while driving.
- Reduce the amount of activity from your passengers.
Plan Your Driving Schedule
While you can’t always predict all instances of heavy traffic, there are ways to minimise your travel time. For example, pay attention to traffic news alerts before you get on the road. Ensuring road safety for you and your loved ones starts before you get behind the wheel.
You should consider checking any potentially risky road conditions that can lead to unwanted delays. Planning your drive can also be a helpful way to reduce frustration while you travel. Additionally, it encourages awareness of alternative routes in case of traffic congestion.
Focus on Defensive Driving
Heavy traffic can lead to dangerous situations. In most cases, drivers become impatient and attempt to merge into other lanes, which can lead to unexpected road incidents. It’s important to identify drivers that pose potentially dangerous driving patterns.
Not everyone will practise safe driving like you, so you should consider:
- Following the flow of the traffic.
- Maintaining a safe following distance between you and other vehicles.
- Signalling before turning or merging into different lanes.
- Keeping calm and remaining patient.
- Identifying risky road conditions.
Keep a Safe Following Distance
You should always maintain enough response time when driving in heavy traffic by keeping a safe following distance between vehicles. This can help you remain attentive to the irresponsible driving you may encounter. South African roads maintain a three-second safe following rule that all motorists must observe.
You should stay alert for the abrupt stopping of other vehicles that various unforeseen events can cause. Most importantly, it increases your chances of keeping everyone safe in an incident.
Heavy traffic jams can trigger anxiety and agitated reactions. You should remain calm and remember that it’s a temporary situation. Avoiding potential road rage when you are feeling frustrated by other drivers can help minimise the likelihood of these risks:
- Accidents and injuries.
- Verbal or physical confrontations.
- Anxiety and stress.
- Being liable for vehicle damages.
Drive at a Safe Speed
Driving at a high speed can increase the risk of injury and fatalities. You should monitor your speed on the road because even the slightest change can lead to an accident. Proactive driving and attention to traffic flow can improve road safety for yourself and other drivers.
The recommended speed limit might not effectively indicate road safety during peak traffic. You should reduce your speed to avoid potential collisions with other drivers. Driving at a safe speed includes following the general flow of traffic and not moving too slowly.
Stay Alert for Road Emergencies
You should stay vigilant and prepared to manoeuvre possible road incidents. If heavy traffic is caused by extreme weather conditions that cause poor visibility, staying cautious is extremely important. Impatient drivers and irresponsible driving might force you to take preventative measures to avoid accidents.
Some drivers need more patience to improve road safety and avoid risks. Constantly monitor exit points you can use if you need to veer onto a different lane immediately. Readiness for road emergencies is essential to being a proactive driver when faced with unexpected situations.
In summary, as you prepare for the end of the holidays, you should remember that many drivers are doing the same. You should consider potential heavy traffic risk factors and find ways to prevent road emergencies. Download the iER App to access efficient emergency management services like roadside assistance or ambulances, nationwide.