When we think of our daily commute, it usually starts with a thought that resembles, "I hope traffic isn't bad today." Heavy traffic is a common concern for many of us who work a standard 8-5 job; however, by taking a look at what exactly causes a majority of accidents for commuters and business travelers, we can provide tips to reduce the risk of an accident while traveling to or from work.
Causes of Commuter Crashes
Drivers who make daily commutes to work—whether short or long distance—face some dangers that are unique to commuters. By understanding these risks and taking action to avoid them, your commute could become much safer. Leading causes of commuter crashes include:
- Highway hypnosis. Also known as driving without attention mode, this phenomenon takes place when you “zone out” while driving. This could happen when you are on a long, empty stretch of highway, or when you are on a familiar route like your commute to work. When we become too familiar with our surroundings, there are times our attention span goes on a type of auto-pilot, causing us to lose focus and not pay attention to our immediate surroundings. To avoid highway hypnosis, try using different routes to work and avoid common driver distractions.
- Multitasking while driving. A late start to work may mean eating breakfast in the car, putting on makeup, or making some work-related calls on your cell phone. However, not making driving your first priority significantly increases your chances of an accident. Put down the phone, the mascara, and your breakfast burrito—they can all wait until you arrive at work.
- Taking office problems home with you. While driving to or from work, many people think about the stress of their jobs, work through issues at work, or plan their day. Unfortunately, trying to divide your time between the road and work will sooner or later end in a near-accident or outright collision. Use your commute to relax, listen to music, and give your mind a break. It’s the safer alternative for you and the other drivers and pedestrians with whom you share the road.
- Not realizing the traffic is heavier. This one is common sense, but there are always a few drivers who believe they can magically make their way through rush hour traffic by driving aggressively and taking dangerous risks. No matter the situation, whether you are running late or need to make a meeting, it's never a good idea—nor an efficient use of time—for a commuter to downplay the reality that comes with business travel and commuting: You're in it with everyone else! In response to that realization, it's best to slow down and ease along with the flow of traffic. Also, commuters should be especially aware of the common stop-and-go traffic, construction areas, and tailgating often found in congested areas of traffic.
Injured in Commuter Traffic on a Business Trip?
It's possible our Indiana car accident lawyers can help you recover for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if you were injured in an accident while commuting to or from work.
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