RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With the rapid increase in population worldwide, the number of private vehicles on the roads has grown tremendously. This often leads to hazardous traffic conditions and road accidents. The number of road accidents is on the rise and so is the death toll due to these accidents. If you are usually driving during rush hour, you need to be extra cautious to keep yourself and others safe. Here are some tips to stay safe in the most chaotic traffic conditions.
Driving fast in the chaotic rush hour traffic can increase the risk of accidents, and that extra speed can cause more damage to your car in case of a collision. Your speed should match the traffic speed while maintaining adequate distance between you and the car in front of you. Rush hour can delay your journey, so drive carefully and give yourself extra time to reach your destination.
Pull Into the Traffic Slowly
When merging into traffic from the service or side lanes, you need to be very careful. You must keep an eye on passing traffic by and be aware of the blind spots in rearview mirrors or behind windshield pillars. Extra caution is required when pulling into a busy intersection because you never know where a vehicle might appear from.
Driving is a task that requires the focus of all your faculties and senses. You have to be alert all the time. This makes it imperative for you to remove all distractions while driving. To avoid getting distracted, keep your cell phone off or in silent mode. Music while driving can be a major distraction too, so turn it off or minimize the volume if you are driving in more hazardous conditions.
Save Emergency Numbers on Your Phone
Most of the freeways and super express highways have emergency numbers at regular intervals on billboards. Such numbers should also be saved on your cell phone. It is essential that you know where you can get help for an auto accident, which is why you, as any car accident attorney will tell you, you need to have the number of a specialized lawyer in your contacts list in case you ever get into an accident. Make sure that you and your passengers know where these numbers are on your phone in case of an accident and don’t forget to assign emergency contacts as well.
Practice Defensive Driving
To quicken your reactions in emergency situations, your driving must be proactive. You need to monitor the traffic flow and road conditions while also maintaining sufficient distance between other vehicles and your car. Look out for unsafe vehicles and check signals before making a turn.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Maintaining a safe distance between your car and other vehicles helps reduce the chances of a rear collision. A safe distance will also help you avoid constant braking, which only leads to worn brake pads.
Scan the Road 12 Seconds Ahead
The area of road where you will be driving in the next 10-12 seconds is very important. Concentrating on that stretch of road, and pinpointing any dangers will keep you and your car safe and is essential to avoid accidents. Watch out for cars ahead that are swerving or stopping suddenly.
Active Turn Signals
Turn signals must be used at all times, but they are especially important in heavy, chaotic traffic to avoid accidents. Before changing lanes or merging into traffic, the use of turn signals is a must.
Communicate Driving Intentions Clearly
Use lights and indicators to communicate your driving intentions clearly to the vehicles around you. The use of headlights can increase your car’s visibility and alert the other drivers about potential problems. This kind of clear communication helps avoid collisions with other vehicles.
Keep at Least One Hand on the Steering Wheel
In case you need to take your hand off the steering wheel for any reason, make sure at least one hand remains on the steering wheel. There could be a sudden pothole or a blown tire that might end up causing you to swerve your vehicle into another lane and cause an accident.
Keep Emergency Maneuvers Ready
Even though you exercise maximum caution, accidents might still occur due to the impatience and rash driving of the drivers of the other vehicles. In such cases, you must be prepared for emergency situations and identify spots where you can safely direct your vehicles. This can be done by carefully scanning traffic.
Stay Calm and Focused
Keeping a cool head above is an important aspect of driving in all conditions and all kinds of traffic. It becomes more important when the traffic on the road is chaotic and heavy. You need to keep your wits about you in order to handle emergency situations, like a vehicle suddenly coming from nowhere.
Strictly Adhere to the Traffic Rules
Any deviance from the traffic rules is an accident waiting to happen. Changing lanes without prior warning, speeding, driving under the influence, ignoring traffic signals are dangerous and can easily cause an accident.
Ignore Aggressive Drivers
There are going to be drivers around you who will try your patience. They may not give you room to pass by or, if they are behind you, they may be riding close, pushing you to move faster. Such aggression should be ignored. It is best to stay as far away from these drivers as possible and not play any games with them. If you engage with these aggressive drivers, you are only increasing the chance of an accident.
Road accidents are a major cause of death worldwide. Not only do they cause severe or fatal injuries, but they also lead to trauma and emotional distress, and many people find themselves unable to drive again after being in an accident. Being careful means that you can save lives, and limit the occurrence of accidents. Accidents always take place due to haste, impatience, anger, distractions, drunk driving, and other traffic rules being broken. If every driver is careful, auto accidents, and the tremendous losses they cause, can be easily avoided.