How Can I Avoid a Rush Hour Car Accident?
If you work in or near a large city like Washington DC, you will more than likely contend with rush hour twice daily. Depending on the length of your commute, you may end up spending several hours in your car each day. All that time behind the wheel can increase your chances of getting into a rush hour car accident.
Although rush hour may not be avoidable completely, you can take a few measures to lower your risk of an accident. Below are several recommendations to make rush hour less stressful and potentially dangerous.
Tips for Motorists to Stay Safe at Rush Hour
- Vary your workday hours. Many employers have become more flexible in terms of allowing workers to rearrange their schedules. Consider asking your manager if you could change your normal driving times. Leaving your house a bit earlier or later could help you spend less time in traffic.
- Drive with a group. Boredom can play a huge role in rush hour accidents. When you are bored behind the wheel, you may be more likely to lose your focus. Swapping driving duties with others by commuting as a group can help reduce your boredom. Additionally, you can take advantage of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to help you get from point to point faster.
- Watch the weather. It only takes a season or two of driving around the District of Colombia to know that the weather can change rapidly. For instance, fog can be a serious problem on the roads around the nation’s capital. Taking a moment to check your weather app will alert you to any upcoming issues that could make rush hour driving more difficult, such as pop-up rainstorms or high winds.
- Do not tailgate. In bumper-to-bumper traffic, you may feel like you have no choice but to tailgate. Yet tailgating under any conditions can put you at risk of being part of a multi-car accident. Allowing more space than you normally would between you and the driver in front of you gives you additional braking time. Seconds matter when it comes to avoiding crashes.
- Avoid distracting behaviors. Many drivers use their rush hour commutes to send texts, eat breakfast, apply makeup, and even shave with electric razors. These are not activities that should be done if you are behind the wheel. In fact, if you cause an accident in the District of Colombia related to texting or another distracting activity, you could face significant financial penalties or jail time.
- Try to relax. When you are in rush hour traffic and just want to get to the office or home, you may start to feel panicked or impatient. Anticipate these emotions and try to stay calm. For instance, some drivers like to create playlists of their favorite songs so they have something to look forward to while commuting.
- Watch for cyclists and pedestrians. Some rush hour commutes will cause you to encounter people walking or biking to work. Be careful of pedestrians and cyclists around you. Do not expect them all to be in the bike lane or crosswalks. Instead, drive defensively and cautiously, particularly near Metro stations.
- Use public transportation. Maybe your rush hour driving time keeps getting longer and longer no matter what you do. Although having a vehicle can be handy, you may want to consider using public transportation occasionally. Public transportation may be quicker, particularly if your typical commute happens Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. or 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Can Rush Hour Traffic Accidents Be Serious or Fatal?
Most people picture rush hour traffic as moving slowly. However, even slow-moving traffic can lead to catastrophic car accidents.
If you are severely hurt in a rush hour accident in the Washington DC area, consider talking to a car accident lawyer before accepting any settlement offers from an insurance company. Getting advice may help you recover higher damages to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Clients Recover from Rush Hour Collisions
Getting into a rush hour car accident can leave you hurt, confused, and frustrated. For experienced, caring assistance, reach out to the Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. Our legal team will be your advocate to secure the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland, we work with clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.