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Traffic’s on the Rise Again: 7 Safe-Driving Tips

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Now that states are opening up, most of us are keen to get out there again — especially with summer well underway. Heavier seasonal traffic and more people returning to work mean our highways and byways are seeing more action than they have in a long time.

Whether you’ve resumed your daily commute or you’re packing the car for a cross-country trip, the tenets of safe driving remain the same post-pandemic as before. However, extra caution is needed until drivers adjust to more crowded roadways.

The following seven defensive driving tips will help keep you and your loved ones safe on the roads this summer and beyond.


1. Watch Your Speed

This is the easiest and most effective way to stay out of harm’s way. The faster you’re going, the harder it is to control your vehicle. You need enough time to slow down or stop if, for example, a car cuts you off, or there’s a hazard on the road. Bonus to driving slower: It uses less gas. Reduce speed even more than the posted limit if driving and weather conditions are not optimal.


2. Pay Attention

Being alert and aware puts you in a better position to avoid reckless drivers and other road hazards. Check your mirrors frequently and scan the road just ahead of you for potential dangers like a stopped vehicle or someone driving aggressively or erratically.


3. Keep Your Distance

Leave plenty of space between you and the car in front so you can come to a stop without running into it if you need to slam on the brakes. Use the 3-4 second rule to give you enough time to stop safely. If you’re driving in bad weather when roads may be slick, flooded, or icy, keep an even bigger distance between vehicles.


4. Look Out for Pedestrians and Two-Wheelers

Those on foot or those riding a bike or motorcycle may also have relaxed their guard during traveling the lighter roads of the pandemic. Give cyclists or pedestrians as wide a berth as possible and reduce your speed if need be. Before you change lanes or make a turn, check your side mirrors in case a rider is in your blind spot. In addition, watch out for jaywalkers who may be used to darting across less busy streets.


5. Eliminate Distractions

Operating a two-ton piece of metal on wheels at high speed deserves your full attention. It goes without saying (but it’s worth reiterating) that texting while driving should be avoided ALWAYS. Cell phone conversations should only happen when using a hands-free set. Fiddling with the radio buttons can also cause accidents if you take your eyes off the road for even a second or two. The same goes for eating or putting on makeup while you’re behind the wheel of a moving car.


6. Avoid Road Rage Situations

Aggressive drivers are not only unpleasant to encounter, they present a real danger to those nearby. Signs of road rage in action: a driver yelling or making obscene gestures, swerving, changing lanes abruptly, or tailgating the car in front of them. The best way to handle this type of situation? Get as far away as possible from the driver in question. If slow or stopped traffic makes that impossible, do not engage, make eye contact, or challenge them.


7. Prepare for the Worst

When you drive defensively, you’re ready for whatever comes your way. There will always be potential hazards. You need to be ready to deal with inattentive drivers not paying attention, ignoring traffic commands, or running red lights and stop signs. Construction in busy urban areas can turn streets into obstacle courses. If you stay alert and assume that other drivers and pedestrians are not always going to do the right thing, you’ll be able to reduce your risk.



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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.