Jones & Swanson

Rush Hour Traffic Safety

The metro-Atlanta and Marietta areas are well known high-traffic areas. If you combine the more than 5 million people occupying the metro area with the millions more traveling through the city or visiting, it’s not surprising that traffic jams are common here. Statistics show that one out of every four auto accidents occur during rush hour traffic, which is concerning because Atlanta sees rush hour traffic daily.

Auto accidents can happen very easily in heavy traffic situations, even when traveling at low speeds. Traffic jams typically involve stop and go movements, requiring heightened concentration from drivers. Even the smallest distraction for only a second can lead to a crash when other vehicles are so close to yours.

Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you’re stuck in congested Atlanta traffic:

Slow down.

It is important to maintain a low speed of travel when in congested areas, as you may need to stop quickly and unexpectedly.

Maintain your lane.

Weaving in and out of lanes to attempt to reach your destination sooner is not only dangerous, but pointless. No amount of lane changes is going to get you there any quicker and will only create hazardous situations for everyone around you. If you must change lanes to maintain a specific route, do so well in advance of your exit.

Avoid distractions.

Distracted driving is dangerous regardless of the amount of traffic around you. But especially in rush hour traffic, glancing at the radio or your cell phone for even a second can lead to a crash. Vehicles are much more condensed, so it only takes a second of inattention for one vehicle to strike another.

Leave space between your vehicle and others.

Stop and go traffic can be annoying, but remember to always leave plenty of distance between your car and those in front of you. One way of checking your distance is to use the 3-second rule – choose a fixed object even with the vehicle ahead of you and make sure you aren’t reaching it before counting to three. For instance, if you reach a traffic sign that was even with the vehicle in front of you after only 2 seconds, you are too close.

Keep your cool.

Other drivers can be frustrating during rush hour, but it’s important to remain calm and avoid aggressive driving. Becoming aggravated will not help the situation in any way and aggressive driving is said to cause 4% of fatal auto accidents – so avoid those actions at all costs.

The attorneys and staff members have been locals to the metro and Marietta areas for decades, so we’ve experienced our share of Atlanta traffic. We know how tempting it can be to glance at your phone or lose your temper at another driver – but in the end it simply isn’t worth the risk to yourself or those around you. For more information on safe driving in heavy traffic areas, or if you’ve been injured in an auto accident during rush hour, call us today at 770-427-5498.

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