Congested roadways can lead to disgruntled, fatigued and even hostile drivers. That, in turn, can cause anything from fender-benders to road rage behavior.
Yet, many drivers do not realize that they can actually help prevent traffic jams, or at the very least, avoid making them worse.
In summer, U.S. highway and byways are busier than ever as families take road trips, vacations or head off to the beach. Now is a good time to remind your drivers about best practices for cutting down on traffic jams, which keeps everyone on the roads safer.
The AAA offers the following advice:
- Change speed as little as possible: The goal is to maintain forward motion at a constant pace as opposed to starting and stopping.
- Leave ample following distance: Drivers should leave plenty of room between their own vehicle and the one ahead. This will help you avoid coming to a complete, abrupt stop — making a traffic jam worse.
- Notice when traffic ahead is slowing: Looking far enough ahead helps you avoid slowing down more than necessary. That way, you may be able to just lift your foot off the accelerator as opposed to applying the brakes to slow down quickly.
- Don't slow down more than necessary: Each time a driver slows down more than necessary, he or she needs to accelerate more to get back up to cruising speed.
- Keep your cool: In addition to actual driving strategies, your mindset can make a difference. When you find yourself in a traffic jam, stay calm and focused — your positive attitude can help keep you safe and prevent the congestion from getting worse.
To learn more, watch AAA's video about reducing traffic jams.