Bumper to bumper traffic is one of America’s biggest headaches, and individuals from New York to L.A. can all relate to the hours of wasted time spent staring at the “My Son Made the Honor Roll” bumper sticker in front of them. While every major city has its fair share of traffic, there are 75 metropolises in the United States that are noteworthy, and Charleston is one of them. According to the Daily Beast, Charleston, SC is the 43rd most congested city in America, with the number of weekly hours of bottleneck congestion reaching a daunting 48 hours.
As the people of Charleston can attest to, rush hour is nothing to boast about. In fact, on top on being a time-sucker, bumper to bumper traffic is one of the more dangerous conditions of the road, accounting for one in four accidents (Drive-Safely.net). From the high volume of cars to the inconsistent speeds, and from constant lane changing to distracted driving, car accidents are a frequent sighting on the rush to and from work.
South Carolina Shares the Spot for Number One Worst Drivers in the Country
According The Post and Courier, South Carolina leads the nation in most fatal car wrecks per 100 million miles traveled. While alcohol is the leading factor, distracted driving and lack of seat belts are also major contributors to the state’s number one spot as the worst drivers in the country, and their number five spot as the most “careless drivers” in the country.
As the state grows in population, these numbers are only bound to get worse. At Joye Law Firm, our Charleston car accident attorneys aim to serve the victims of car accidents, as well as help the state of South Carolina reduce the number of car accidents as much as possible.
From staying calm to realizing when you are driving distractedly, there are things you can do to help reduce the number of car accidents in Charleston, SC. Below you will find a list of ways you can improve the safety of Charleston’s roads and make rush hour a little less of a headache for you and your fellow drivers.
Calm Driving Can Help Reduce the Number of Charleston Rush Hour Car Accidents
- Take the “Rush” Out of Rush Hour. If each individual gave themselves a little extra time in the morning and evenings, rush hour would be full of less frenzied and stressed out individuals. Stress oftentimes leads to unexpected situations on the road, such as car accidents, as it causes many people to perform dangerous driving maneuvers that they typically would not while in a calm state. To take the stress out of your commute, account for traffic, construction, and accidents, and add 30 extra minutes to your estimated drive time each way, each day.
- Take a Different Route. If the daily commute has got you feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, try taking a different route. If possible, take a back road to work. While it may add extra driving miles to your commute, it should not add too much time; in fact, if anything, it may even reduce the amount of time you spend on the road. Plus, the change of scenery may calm you and help you feel less “trapped.”
- Take deep breaths. At our Charleston law firm, we understand how frustrating it can be to know that there is absolutely nothing you can do about the miles of stopped cars sitting in front of, behind, and beside you. So when another driver pulls a less-than-courteous maneuver, or fails to play by the rush hour “rules,” you may be tempted to get mad and react in kind. However, do not. Instead, take a deep breath, think about what you plan on doing, and ask yourself if it is really worth putting everyone at risk to “get even” with another driver.
- Get off the road. If the stress of yet another hour stuck in traffic in Charleston gets to be too much for you, pull off of the expressway and stop at a coffee shop or diner for an hour or so. Not only will this be a better way to spend an hour, but also, by the time you get back on the road, the traffic should be much less condensed.
- Avoid rush hour. If the stress of rush hour is just too much for you to bear, ask your employer if you can change your hours around. Instead of working the standard nine to five, see about changing your hours to 10 to six, or even eight to four. By working outside the normal business hours, you increase your odds of missing the worst of the Charleston rush hour traffic.
Tips for Safe Driving in Charleston Rush Hour Traffic
While staying calm is a major component of avoiding a rush hour car accident, it is still important to practice safe driving techniques. Remember, Charleston is number five in the country for most careless drivers, accounting in part for our “most fatal wrecks” position. Here are a few safe driving tips to practice on your commute:
- Never get distracted. It is easy to get distracted during Charleston rush hour, as half of the commute is spent sitting at a standstill. However, while you may be tempted to text, read, or even do your makeup during this time, do not. Distracted driving is incredibly risky, especially during a time of day when every other driver on the road is distracted as well.
- Be mindful of other drivers. Pay attention to other drivers, and be prepared to overcompensate for them. If a driver swerves into your lane in front of you at the last minute, let them, as they probably do not see you. Also, always give yourself adequate braking room between you and the car in front of you.
- Do not make sudden or drastic maneuvers. Remember, most rush hour drivers are distracted, so the worst thing you can do is make a sudden or drastic maneuver that they are not expecting. If you know that your exit is coming up, begin to get over as soon as possible—do not wait until the last minute. Use your turn signals to warn other drivers of your intent to switch lanes, and only make the move when you are sure that they saw you.
- Check your mirrors, and be mindful of blind spots. Before making any lane changes, check all of your mirrors and blind spots to be absolutely sure that there are no other drivers in the way. If you switch lanes while another car is there, you risk causing them to swerve, thereby causing the cars next to them to swerve, which could result in a multiple car accident or even a pile up.
Charleston Car Accident Attorneys Help Victims of Car Accidents
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident that resulted from another driver’s careless driving during Charleston rush hour, you are probably feeling overwhelmed and angry. A car accident can have serious implications on your life, from lost wages to high medical bills, and pain and suffering to permanent disability. You deserve to be compensated for any and all damages that you suffer. At Joye Law Firm, our Charleston car accident attorneys can help you file a personal injury claim, compile the necessary evidence for proving your case, and achieve a beneficial outcome. To consult with one of our Charleston personal injury lawyers, contact us at 877-936-9707 or online today.