Living in in the DC area means that you are probably already quite comfortable operating your car in heavy traffic. Unfortunately, due to the congested and busy roads of Washington DC, multi-vehicle pile ups and heavy traffic accidents are all too common.
You’ve probably driven by some of these accidents when multiple lanes were shut down on any of the major roadways in or surrounding Washington DC. What follows are several tips to minimize your chances of being involved in an accident like this and avoiding catastrophic injuries.
Basics of Heavy Traffic
There are few things more frustrating than being stuck in major gridlock in Washington DC. Whether it is caused by the rush hour back up, construction or accident on the road, driving in traffic means that the conditions are less than ideal and it can put you at greater risk of being involved in an accident. Here are several tips to minimize your chances of being critically hurt in a car crash in DC.
Don’t Weave Throughout Traffic
When there are more cars than you might expect on the road, you will naturally slow down and you may be tempted to drive more quickly in order to avoid delays, but this can cause an accident particularly if other drivers are not paying attention.
Other drivers are not always able to predict what you are going to do or how you are going to adapt to heavy situation, so you need to make sure to use turn signals and try to avoid weaving in and out of traffic.
While it goes without saying that you should never text and drive, any kind of distraction in heavy traffic could put you at greater risk of an accident. This is particularly true when the traffic in DC is bumper to bumper.
Moving your car forward while glancing at something else for just a couple of seconds could mean a rear end accident. Everyone needs to pay attention in order to minimize the chances of car crashes on these busy and often congested roads.
Always Use Indicators
Particularly in heavy traffic and when there are many drivers around, it is essential to let others know what you are planning on doing. If you do need to move over to another lane, this is not only safe and courteous, but it could actually save your life.
Make sure to use turn signals and notify other drivers of your intentions to move. It can be particularly difficult to move into different lanes during heavy traffic, but letting them know well in advance that you need to get over is critical.
Why Multiple Vehicle Traffic Accidents Are So Common?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shares that a car crash happens every minute in the United States. Of those 6 million crashes across the country, nearly one third involve multiple vehicle pile ups and collisions.
A massive chain reaction is more likely to happen in heavy traffic because even if other drivers are paying attention, one not paying attention reduces the timing for other drivers to react quickly. For example, a driver who looks away for a couple of seconds may rear end the car in front of him or her and this can lead to a domino effect for all cars behind.
Although heavy traffic may encourage you to stick closely behind another vehicle directly in front of you, it is always good to give proper space and to pay attention when traffic is slowing down and speeding up at busy intersections or interchanges. This helps you avoid being involved in a critical car accident that could leave you with devastating injuries.
Also Read: 10 Steps to Take after a Car Accident
What to Do If You’ve Already Been Injured?
If you have already been involved in a serious car accident in DC because someone was driving recklessly or not paying attention, you need to consult with a Washington DC car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
This may be your only chance to recover compensation for serious injuries and it is strongly recommended that you partner with a lawyer sooner rather than later so that he or she can begin investigating the cause of your injuries and the accident itself immediately.
Consulting with a lawyer is strongly recommended for anyone who hopes to recover compensation from a Washington DC car accident claim.