As a middle-aged worker in a typical office job, the most dangerous part of your day is probably just your commute to and from work. After all, the National Safety Council notes that car accident rates tend to peak from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. This is exactly when a lot of people are commuting home after a long day. These drivers may be fatigued, they may be in a hurry, they may be stressed out and there are simply issues with traffic congestion that are going to lead to accidents.
You can’t change the fact that you have to drive at this time if you’re a commuter. So what can you do to make your day safer? Here are a few tips that may help.
Make sure that you’re in the right condition to drive
You can’t change the condition of the drivers around you, but you can pay attention to how you feel. If you’re too fatigued after a long day at work, don’t immediately get in the car and head home. If you’re stressed out or frustrated, avoid driving when you’re feeling too emotional. Get in the right mental state to focus on safety and to be dialed in on the road until you pull into your driveway.
Increase your following distances
If you know that other people are more likely to make mistakes, it may help to drop back a bit from the car ahead of you. The more space you can give yourself, the more time you have to react. Those people may still make the same mistakes, but increasing your following distance may allow you to do what it takes to avoid a crash that you would have been involved in otherwise.
Become a defensive driver
Most of all, you want to focus on defensive driving. Anticipate mistakes and be prepared for them. Watch out for drivers in problematic areas, such as intersections. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted, and keep your attention on the road. Defensive driving is not a perfect solution, and you can still get in an accident, but it can lower the odds. Every little bit helps, especially when you’re commuting every day during the most dangerous hours of that day.
If you do still get injured in a crash that someone else causes, then you need to take the time to look into your legal options to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more.