Defensive Driving in Traffic


Every day we come across situations where we’ve to drive in heavy traffic. Driving in traffic leads to anxiety and impairs the driver’s performance to a great extent. You need to be extra careful in such situations and check the movement of cars around you. Here is some driving in traffic safety tips for commuters to help them reach their destination:

Eliminate the Distractions

During heavy traffic, the roads will be heavily packed with traffic. People would start getting impatient and move towards the lane where they shouldn’t enter. Last but not least, avoid distractions while driving in a traffic jam by implementing the following approaches:

1. Switch off the cell phone or keep it in flight mode

2. Turn off the music or reduce its volume.

3. Telling the passengers to relax while sitting amid the heavy traffic.

Defensive Driving

Several skills are a part of defensive driving and must be adopted to prevent yourself from getting into dangerous situations. First, ensure that you are ready with the plan when the car collides with you. Apart from this, while driving in busy traffic, take care of the following things:

1. Keep scanning the traffic and road conditions with your eyes.

2. The road has certain drivers that are unsafe. These often switch lanes and drive speedily. It’s better to be vigilant about them.

3. Give a signal before turning or changing lanes.

4. Avoid driving when exhausted or emotionally drained.

5. Keep distance from vehicles in the front and behind you.

Plan Your Driving Time To Prevent Getting in Heavy Traffic

It’s better to leave 15 minutes ahead of your actual time to prevent unnecessary traffic and trouble. For example, you might expect heavy traffic between 8 and 9 or between 5 and 6 pm.

Check Heavy Traffic from a Distance

Before getting to a crowded section on the road, take your feet off the accelerator and coast forward. This would keep your speed under control & help you save fuel:

1. According to the distance, you need to apply brakes to reduce the speed before getting into heavy traffic.

2. Keeping the speed slow would eliminate heavy traffic as you approach there. This would save fuel and minimize the chances of accidents.

Prepare Yourself for Emergencies

Impatient drivers often make poor decisions and would make you take drastic action to prevent accidents from taking place. Sometimes you have to need to get out of the lane and move towards the shoulder. Keep an eye on the road while driving in traffic jams and try to shoulder off from the road and other places that would get you into emergency maneuvers.

1. Exit the Freeway in Case of Uncomfortable Situations and wait until you’re in a relaxed state or as the roads become quieter.

2. Turn on the emergency lights and take the car to the other side of the shoulder road. Try relaxing a bit and listening to some soft music to get comfortable with the traffic.

Driving Manually in Heavy Traffic

Keep Distance Between You & Car in Front

You need more space while driving a manual vehicle than an automatic one. This would help you crawl in a lower gear when the traffic starts moving again.

1. By doing this, you’re saving your effort and preventing the gears from wear and tear no need to activate the clutch by the time the traffic starts moving.

2. Be cautious of the poor drivers trying to overtake and change the lanes often.

Keep Calm When Cars Tailgate

Although different countries have different laws, you’re expected to keep a distance from the cars in front. This is generally done to safeguard manual drivers as they tend to roll back after the first gear. The moment you shift to first gear with adequate space at the back or at the hill. Supply gas to your car in the first gear and take the clutch out.

Keep the Speeds Slower than the Traffic

Impatient drivers tend to accelerate their cars quickly in heavy traffic. You would reach sooner to your destination but would extract a great deal of fuel from your car. In the case of manual vehicles, you need to apply a clutch to shift downwards or halt the car. The better approach is as follows:

1. Accelerate by keeping the speed steady, i.e.; the speeds must be way less than the traffic on the road. This way, you can move forward with the gear of your choice and no need to come down or shift to a stop.

2. Try to shift down if you notice impatient drivers getting into your space.

The Bottom Line

Driving in heavy traffic becomes quite difficult and frustrating for the drivers. Therefore, implement these tips while driving in a traffic jam to reach the destination in a safe and secure manner.

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