Even if you commute to and from work every day, it doesn’t make it any easier to navigate heavy traffic. Sure, you may be used to it, but you still have concerns about your safety.

Here are some tips to follow when commuting in traffic:

  • Leave a greater following distance: Even when traffic is slow, you shouldn’t drive too closely to the vehicle in front of yours. Two to three car lengths is a good starting point, but you may want to leave even more space for peace of mind.
  • Watch for aggressive drivers: There are people out there who become extremely frustrated in traffic, which leads them to drive aggressively. They speed, they pass people on the shoulder of the road and they scream (a lot). Aggressive driving is dangerous, so take a defensive approach to combat it.
  • Avoid distractions: Distractions come in many forms, such as texting, conversing with passengers, people watching and drinking your morning coffee. When you do any of these things, your full attention is not on the road and your surroundings.
  • Take a different route: Search for a route that doesn’t have as much traffic, even if it takes you longer to reach your destination. This alone can remove a lot of stress from your commute.
  • Keep your eyes on the traffic ahead: For instance, you may be moving at a normal rate of speed, just to realize that traffic is completely stopped ahead of you. When you recognize this in advance, you have more time to stop your vehicle.

For many people, the biggest issue with commuting in traffic is other drivers. You know that you’ll do your part in staying safe, but you have concerns about someone else making a mistake that causes an accident.

If this happens, your next step is to move to safety and call 911. Don’t get out of your vehicle, talk to the other driver or attempt to leave the scene. Instead, examine yourself for injuries and wait for help to arrive.

Your goal at this point is to receive medical treatment, file an insurance claim and take any steps you can to obtain compensation for your injuries and other crash-related damages.