THE DRIVER AND CONGESTION
With highway crowding and motorists jockeying for positions in traffic lanes, and at exits and entryways, drivers find themselves stressed, frustrated and distracted, leading to driver error and high risk driving. Driving safely requires a driver's constant attention, leaving little time to attend to other non driving-related work or personal tasks. When you're on the road, make safe driving your primary business.
Do Your Part: Be Prepared, Drive Carefully and Share the Road with Others
- Being road ready means being both physically and mentally prepared to drive. Being well rested, alert, and attentive keeps you safe on the road and in a position to defend yourself from the drivers who do not make that choice.
- Obtain information on the latest tie-ups, traffic jams, roadway conditions and visibility before you get behind the wheel. Then you can plan your route to avoid some delays or allow yourself extra drive time.
- Know the meaning of road signs, signals and pavement markings.
- Be aware of the roadway hazards that create additional stress for drivers who are already dealing with a difficult driving situation. Trees, utility poles close to the road, sharp curves, work zones, and narrow lanes with no shoulders are hazards that vehicles can crash into if they leave the roadway. Take extra care when driving through these areas or avoid them altogether.
- Remain calm — don't let your temper or frustration levels cause you to act recklessly.
- Drive courteously and share the road safely with other motorists, pedestrians, large vehicles, motorcycles and bikes. Remember that the people who occupy the vehicles around you could be your friends, neighbors, co-workers, or family members.
- Practice space management to avoid trouble and think ahead to anticipate problems that might come your way. Plan ahead for an "out" in case something happens. Look for a lane or shoulder, to anticipate a path out of trouble.
- Often the worst backups and secondary crashes occur when drivers slow down to gawk at trouble. The resulting "phantom delays" happen when motorists rubberneck at the spot where the incident occurred.
- When vehicles are entering the highway, make it easier for them by adjusting your speed or changing lanes, if you can do so safely.
- Take turns merging to keep traffic flowing even in the worst locations. Otherwise, traffic comes to a halt when a driver zooms ahead and then tries to nose in at the last minute.
- If other drivers want to practice "road dominance" let them. If someone is tailgating you, just pull over and let them pass.
- If you see flashing lights from an emergency vehicle coming up behind you, move over immediately.