Anyone who works a typical 9-to-5 job is familiar with the morning rush. The roads are usually guaranteed to be busy from Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., which is when most people are heading to work, school or other morning activities.
The problem with the morning rush is that there are so many people hurrying to get where they need to go that it’s more likely for car crashes to occur. Whether vehicles are filled with parents trying to get their kids to school on time or individuals running late for work, the chances are that the roads will be congested with people who try to speed, weave and maneuver their way to their destinations.
Stress is a factor in commuter collisions
Stress is one of the major contributors to crashes on the roads and is often worse during the morning or evening rush hours due to congestion. A short drive could take two or three times longer because of exit ramps being backed up or crashes that slow down other lanes of travel.
When people get stressed behind the wheel, driving anxiety can take the form of road rage, which increases the risk that someone will cause a crash. For others, slow traffic might seem like a good opportunity to put on makeup or eat breakfast. Those distractions quickly increase the risk of crashes, too.
If you’re driving during the morning commute, plan your route carefully
If you want to minimize your stress, it’s a good idea to plan your commute before you head out. Can you leave before 7 a.m.? You might be able to get ahead of the rush. Is there a route that avoids busy intersections or crowded highway ramps? Consider taking the longer way to avoid such heavy congestion.
Keep in mind that everyone is going through the same stress under these circumstances, so drivers may be more likely to make errors that could put them or others at risk. Giving yourself more time to get to your destination and staying calm can help you stay safe as you navigate a busy commute.