Dealing with Stop-and-Go Traffic

If you commute back and forth to Greensboro or RTP, you know the frustration comes with driving in stop-and-go traffic. While we wait for all the construction is finished, and until people stop having accidents, occasional gridlock is here to stay. Here’s a driving guide.

Stay calm and patient. We know, we know. That’s almost impossible for most of us. But try a funny podcast, or a suspenseful audio book. Meditate or listen to soothing music. Getting frustrated or agitated doesn’t help, and it can lead to impulsive decisions and increased stress levels.

Keep a safe following distance. This one is easier to do. Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, allowing enough space to react and stop if needed. A general rule of thumb is to maintain at least a three-second gap between your vehicle and the one ahead.

Anticipate traffic flow. Pay attention to the traffic ahead and try to anticipate its flow. Look for brake lights or signs of slowing down to adjust your speed accordingly, rather than relying solely on the vehicle directly in front of you.

Smooth and gradual acceleration. When traffic starts moving again, accelerate smoothly and gradually to avoid sudden stops. This helps to reduce the likelihood of rear-end collisions and improves the flow of traffic. Try the old trick of imagining someone sitting beside you sipping hot coffee, and make a game of not making any moves that would spill it.

Brake early and gently. When you need to slow down or stop, brake early and gently to give the driver behind you ample time to react. Again, imagine that coffee. Avoid sudden and harsh braking unless it’s necessary to avoid a collision.

Use your mirrors and check blind spots. Stay aware of your surroundings by frequently checking your mirrors and scanning your blind spots. This allows you to anticipate lane changes, merging vehicles, or potential hazards.

Use your indicators. Signal your intentions by using your turn signals when changing lanes or making turns. This helps other drivers anticipate your movements and promotes safer lane changes. And – no hand signals, if you know what we mean.?

Stay updated with traffic information. Use real-time traffic apps like Google or Waze This information can help you plan alternative routes or adjust your expectations accordingly.

Keep your engine tuned up. You knew that we were going to mention this one, but if anything is worse than stop-and-go traffic, it’s having your car overheat and stop in stop-and-go traffic. Maintain proper fluid levels and read How to Help Your Vehicle in the Heat.

Remember, traffic conditions can change rapidly, so it’s important to adapt and stay alert while driving in stop-and-go traffic. Stop in to Norris Automotive and let us make sure that your vehicle will go smoothly – no matter what.

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