Dealing with traffic jams


Traffic jams are a common problem that Americans deal with five times a week in the morning and afternoon. When you have millions of Americans headed to and from work simultaneously, traffic jams are bound to happen. According to Texas A&M Transportation Institute's Urban Mobility Report, drivers spend an extra 42 hours in their cars every year due to traffic jams. Even though avoiding traffic jams may be unavoidable at times, there are tips to help you navigate them with the least amount of issues.


The fundamentals: 

  • Plan ahead with information regarding the route you will take and if there will be traffic jams before hitting the road. Listening to radio reports and using apps are great options to receive updates on the road conditions. 
  • Always use your turn signal when attempting to merge or change lanes. Doing this will lower the risk of causing an accident and will let other drivers know your intentions of where you want to go. 
  • Check blind spots frequently. This is especially important when switching lanes. Other vehicles on the road, such as motorcycles, are harder to see and require you to be vigilant of their whereabouts.  
  • Refrain from using your phone while driving. Not only is it illegal, you're putting yourself and other drivers in danger by not giving your full attention to the road.

Smart driving: 

  • Avoid driving aggressively and weaving from lane to lane. Doing this will provide little to no benefit of getting to your destination faster. You also increase the likelihood of rear-ending or sideswiping another vehicle. 
  • Avoid tailgating another vehicle, which is similar to the previous tip. This will keep you from wearing on your brakes at a faster rate, while also reducing the chances of rear-ending another driver. 
  • Practice patience when caught in a traffic jam. No one enjoys being caught in traffic, and it's understandable. People have places to be and errands to run. But, blowing a gasket and fuming at other drivers on the road will not get you to your destination faster. Even though you may arrive at your location late, it's better than not arriving at all. 
  • Look ahead in traffic to see if cars are speeding up or braking. If you see the car in front of you braking, it's best to take your foot off the gas gradually, rather than an abrupt stop. 



 While traffic jams may be an annoyance, implementing these tips can keep the roads safer while alleviating unnecessary stress.


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Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.