Few things elicit frustration and road rage faster than a traffic jam. As the population of Fort Collins continues to rise, rush hour is bound to keep getting worse, both in town and along I-25. Here are our top tips for driving safely in heavy traffic.
The stop-and-go nature of rush hour traffic means the driver ahead of you could slam on the brakes with little warning. The moment you see brake lights shining up ahead, take your foot off the accelerator and prepare to brake. Along with that, avoid following too closely. It’s wise to keep a three-second distance between you and the car in front of you so you have time to stop.
When you’re in a hurry, it’s tempting to weave in and out of lanes, but this driving style increases your risk of getting in an accident. The best tip for driving safely is to pick a lane and stick to it.
While you shouldn’t weave through traffic, remember to use your signal when you do change lanes. Letting other drivers around you know what you’re doing is safer than making unpredictable movements.
When you know that you need to exit the highway in a few miles, or a left-hand turn is coming up, get into the appropriate lane well in advance. This keeps your stress level down and helps with driving safely.
Stay focused on the road at all times. Distracted driving can take many forms, from eating and drinking to texting and updating social media. Even daydreaming can be hazardous. If you’re the driver, keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind on the task of driving.
Just because you’re driving safely doesn’t mean everyone is. As long as you’re not distracted, you should be able to spot obstacles in advance and avoid a collision.
Have you noticed how traffic backs up even if an accident is located on the other side of the road? Rubbernecking slows everyone down and increases the risk of an incident. Keep your focus on the road ahead of you, and avoid craning your head to gawk at a crash that doesn’t involve you.
If you’re driving anywhere between the hours of about 7:00 am to 9:00 am or 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, plan to leave early. Depending on your location, it could take up to twice as long to reach your destination.
The shortest way to work during off-peak traffic times may not be the fastest during rush hour. Experiment with different routes, or seek a traffic update using a navigation app. If an alternate route can get you there faster, great! But even if taking back roads adds a few minutes to the drive, it could be worth it if your stress level goes down as a result.
If you have any control over the situation, avoid going out when the traffic is at its worst. You might even ask if you can change to a different shift at work so your commute is during off-hours.
Sometimes, you’re stuck in rush hour traffic, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Instead of losing your cool, use the extra time in the car to the fullest by listening to an audiobook or putting on your favorite music.
If your brakes give out or the engine fails to accelerate quickly, you are more likely to get in an accident on your commute. Routine vehicle inspections and maintenance help ensure your car is roadworthy so you can drive to work with peace of mind.
The next time your car needs a tune-up, bring it to Scott’s Fort Collins Auto. We provide multi-point vehicle inspections and recommend any repairs or adjustments to improve the safety and reliability of your vehicle. We carry a full line of BG engine products, and we always use genuine OEM parts when available.
To schedule an appointment, please call us at (970) 682-4202 or contact us online. You can also stop by when it’s convenient for you. Our hours are from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and 8 am to 1 pm on Saturday.