You might be thinking that car accidents happen when people are driving fast. You are wrong. Accidents happen most when you are driving at low speeds. That is, rush hour driving. 1 in 4 car crashes happen in rush hour. Morning and evening rush hours are very dangerous times to drive. The reason for that is congestion. People are rushing to get to work or to get home. They move between a congested volume of cars. On top of that, rush hour congestion increases distractions. And distractions in turn increase the likelihood of crashes and accidents. Evening rush hour (that is between 4 pm and 7 pm) are even more dangerous. This is because driving in the dark impairs vision.
What it is like to drive during rush hour in California
According to the INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard, the United States has the highest congestion due to rush hour. Los Angeles ranks 5th place nationally for rush hour driving. In Los Angeles alone, people spend an average of 128 hours in congested traffic. Rush hour costs LA residents more than $1,700. Why is that? Because the Los Angeles area is large with a very dense population and limited transportation options. This causes drivers to stay on the road for longer hours and make rush hour very daunting. In 2017, congestion costed residents more than $2,800 each. That is $19.2 billion in LA alone.
Tips you should follow to stay safe during rush hour driving
Because of how stressful rush hour is, it is important to stay calm. Morning rush hour is dangerous because we all have to get to work on time. Being late means potentially losing our job. So we drive with high anxiety. Evening rush hour is also dangerous because of two reasons. First, evening drives are just naturally more dangerous because of the dark. And second, after a long day at work, you are most likely tired and exhausted. Drowsy or driving with fatigue significantly increases the probability of an accident. That is why it is important to be aware of these facts and learn how you can stay safe during rush hour driving.
The following tips are deemed to save your life as well as others.
- Plan ahead. Before you get to your car, plan your day. Planning includes driving. What that means is that you give yourself extra time to get to your destination. A few minutes added to your rote will save so much stress when you are driving during rush hour.
- Take alternative routes. If there is another route, check whether it is worth taking it. You may think that the fastest way is taking the 10 or 210 Freeway. But you may be wrong. It may be that these routes are the slowest during rush hour. So invest in searching better routes during such times.
- Car pool lanes. If you are able, try to carpool with others. This saves you time, stress and is better for the environment.
- Be patient. It is important to stay calm and focused while driving. Try to maintain your speed and not swerve between cars.
- Be Mindful of other drivers on the road. Remember that you are sharing the road with many other drivers. Give yourself enough space for breaking in case of an emergency. And stay alert for risky road situations to avoid accidents.
What you need to avoid doing while driving
When we become comfortable driving, fear jumps out of the window. And that is where the danger lies. A lot of the accidents happen by experienced drivers. While you probably already know this list, it is important to remind ourselves.
- Do not drive fast at all times, and especially during congestion
- Despite how much temptation you have, do not swerve into other lanes while in traffic
- Be careful not to be distracted. Distractions include using your phone, eating or drinking or reaching out for things while you are waiting in traffic
Consult an auto accident injury attorney
If you or someone you know have been in an auto accident, you have legal rights. Call us today for a free consultation. We will inform you about your rights and walk you through the entire process. It is important to seek medical attention, which we will help you though. We will also help you with your property damage. And negotiate on your behalf, the best reasonable compensation for your damages.