Driving Safely in Heavy Traffic in Colorado Springs
Paying Attention in Rush Hour Traffic Makes a Huge Difference
Nobody likes being trapped in rush hour traffic. It’s stressful, exhausting, and it’s not hard to feel like you’re experiencing permanent increases to your blood pressure every time a car ahead of you tries to switch lanes without signaling.
Navigating heavy traffic is when it’s most important to stay aware of the road around you and in control of the vehicle you’re driving. As you’re surrounded by other cars, the margin for a reckless choice to escalate into a full-on auto accident is significantly widened. Additionally, this means that accidents have the potential to escalate across multiple lanes of traffic, injuring more people.
The next time that you’re driving through crowded traffic in a city, like Colorado Springs, keep these things in mind:
Keep Your Distance
Letting another driver get too far ahead of you during rush hour traffic can feel like you’re effectively surrendering your spot. Although it can be tempting to accelerate as soon as the vehicle ahead of you moves, it’s a good idea to afford at least three seconds worth of distance at all times.
This means that you should drive at a speed that gives you at least three seconds to react to the car ahead of you. In the event that they come to a sudden stop, having enough space to break can mean the difference between a smooth drive and a rear-end collision. Maintaining this distance is a good practice regardless of your driving conditions, as having more space to brake translates to less wear on your car.
Check Your Blind Spots
Even with sophisticated blind spot detection, it’s still a good idea to check your blind spots, whenever necessary, in heavy traffic. Driving conditions can change rapidly when there are enough cars on the road, and an opening you saw a few seconds ago can be filled by another car by the time you switch lanes.
Checking your blind spots is also a good idea when you’re navigating the sudden surge of traffic that follows an on-ramp, as it’s possible that drivers are making frantic merges because they overestimated the amount of lane distance they have left.
Remember That Getting Somewhere Slowly Is Better Than Not Arriving at All
When you’re driving in heavy traffic, you’ll likely see at least one other car driving aggressively. We’ve all seen these kinds of drivers: the ones who will merge at a moment’s notice without a signal once a different lane starts moving faster. While it can be tempting to follow suit as you watch those drivers move quickly through traffic, remember that arriving somewhere is better late than never.
All of the time you save by driving aggressively vanishes the moment you hit another car. Even if nobody is injured in the auto accident, the time you lose and the stress you’ll accrue from dealing with the accident likely cancels out ALL of the time you’ve saved lifelong by driving aggressively.
This is compounded even further if someone is injured as a result of your driving. Beyond the significant financial and legal consequences that can happen as a result of reckless driving, the guilt of injuring someone else isn’t worth arriving somewhere faster. As a driver, you owe a duty of care to everyone else on the road, which means you don’t want to focus on speed at the expense of the people around you. As a rule of thumb, if an aggressive merge or sudden swerve would frustrate you to drive behind, you can show some respect to other drivers by not doing it.
In the event that you’re injured by a rush hour car accident in heavy traffic, it’s important to speak to a lawyer as soon as you’re able to. As these accidents can involve multiple cars, the risk of injury is severe, and medical bills can pile up fast. By speaking to a lawyer, you place yourself in the best possible position for navigating the road to recovery.
McDivitt Law Firm has been representing victims of Colorado auto accidents for 40 years. Our experienced car accident attorneys understand the nuances of navigating insurance claims and will intervene to ensure you’re able to focus your time on recovery. With offices in Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, and Pueblo, we fight hard to ensure our clients get the compensation they deserve!Back to the Blog