It’s hard to remain calm when driving in rush hour traffic. Even if you do it every day of your life, no two trips are the same. And for that reason, it’s natural to have concerns about your safety and well-being.

While there’s nothing you can ever do to completely eliminate the risk of an accident, there are steps you can take to enhance your safety in rush hour traffic:

  • Pay attention: Don’t let any type of distraction, such as your cellphone or passengers, get in your way. You should put 100% of your focus on the road and the vehicles around you.
  • Practice defensive driving: Rather than drive aggressively in rush hour, take a defensive approach. Not only does it keep you safe, but it will lower your stress level.
  • Leave more space: When traffic is slow moving, it’s easy to find yourself a few inches away from the car in front of yours. This doesn’t leave you much room for error. By leaving a couple car lengths, you have more space to stop and a buffer that will give you peace of mind.
  • Stay in your lane: It’s tempting, but there’s no reason to switch lanes constantly. It’s not going to save you much time, if any, and it’ll actually increase the risk of an accident. Once you know you’re in the proper lane, stay there until you have a reason for making a change.
  • Watch the weather: As if it’s not difficult enough to drive in rush hour traffic, bad weather can add to the challenge. If it’s raining, snowing or the wind is strong, adjust your driving style accordingly. For example, it takes longer to stop on slick roads, so you should leave a greater following distance.

When you take these steps when navigating rush hour traffic, you’ll feel better about your ability to avoid an accident.

At that point, your primary concern is what other drivers are doing. Someone else could ignore the above advice, thus causing a crash. That’s when you should call 911, administer first aid and obtain treatment for your injuries at a local hospital.

You’ll eventually want to file an insurance claim and look into other means of obtaining compensation from the driver who caused the crash.