Rush Hour Tips
Auto accidents can happen at any time, but a new study suggests that the two hours between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. are the most dangerous times to drive. The high density of commuters creates an environment of stop-and-go traffic that can be difficult to navigate. Furthermore, dusk's negative effect on visibility and end-of-the-day fatigue can contribute to the danger of those two hours.
What to do with this information? Many of us are stuck driving during those two hours, so what can be done to reduce the danger of driving between six and eight? Here are a few strategies.
This applies both to the increased congestion of rush hour and the diminishing light. Although drivers should be alert anytime they're driving, it is especially important at this time of day. Keep the radio low, don't talk on the phone and keep other distractions to a minimum. Simply knowing that this time is especially dangerous and that other drivers may be tired or distracted can help you ensure that your task has your undivided attention.
Although this might be easier said than done, relaxing and staying calm can help you make good decisions as you drive during rush hour. Try and leave the stresses of the workday behind you and focus on your upcoming evening. Understand that everyone else on the road is likely just as anxious to get home as you are, and try and be extra patient with them.
Slow and steady
Although there is no doubt an impulse to accelerate quickly and fly through yellow lights, maintaining an even speed can help reduce the likelihood of accidents and keep you calm.
Explore alternative routes
We are often creatures of habit, sticking to routines even as they prove unsuccessful. Take the time to see if there are any more direct or less used routes to and from your work. This small investment of time can save you hours in the long run, and keep you more relaxed in the process.