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Driving tips to reduce traffic and improve safety

We all like to imagine we have about as much common sense as the next person. Until we get behind the wheel during rush hour. Then it often feels as if no one else has any common sense at all.

Unfortunately, heavy traffic and traffic congestion increase the risk of road accidents, especially when traffic is stopping and starting often. You may believe traffic is out of your control, but how you drive can help to prevent traffic congestion and accidents. Below are a few driving tips that will help you prevent or reduce traffic congestion and increase road safety. 

Consistent speed

The first thing you can do is to keep your speed at a steady rate with as little change as possible. Stopping and starting often may backup traffic more - and aggravate the driver behind you. Try to avoid coming to a complete stop on the highway when it is possible. Do stop when necessary, just attempt to maintain your speed when possible. It is also important to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you to avoid slamming your breaks. Speeding up rapidly to close the distance to the car in front of you only to rapidly hit the breaks does not increase your overall speed.

Slowing down

When you are required to slow down, only slow as much as necessary. Each time you slow down more than necessary, then you'll need to accelerate more to resume your traveling speed. Looking to traffic ahead will help you begin to slow your speed earlier, avoid slowing more than needed, and return to your cruising speed easier.

Managing a bottleneck with the zipper method

At times traffic will bottleneck due to construction or heavy traffic with a lane reduction. This is the time to use the zippering technique, which means to take turns with other drivers to allow everyone to be able to move forward. Drivers should keep enough space between the vehicle in front to allow for another vehicle to merge into the proper lane.

By correctly using the zipper technique it reduces the difference in speed between the two lanes and reduces the duration of traffic congestion by about 40 percent. Taking turns will also create a sense of equality and fairness between drivers, which reduces road rage incidents because everyone is moving at the same speed. Cooperation between drivers helps to keep everyone safe.

City street parking

City street parking can cause congestion when someone is attempting to locate a parking space or parallel park, especially when it's a large vehicle. It's not always easy to know out how much space is needed between vehicles to allow everyone the space needed to leave their space. It's not as much as you might think. It's only about two and a half feet.

You can only do so much

The more people practice safe driving, including the above techniques, the better off we will all be. Of course, we cannot control the actions of other drivers, some of whom behave negligently or recklessly behind the wheel. If you have been injured by a negligent driver, you do have legal options. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your situation.

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