Live in Seattle? 3 Driving Tips to Protect Yourself From Personal Injury
When you live in the greater SeaTac area, there are two facts of life that, like death and taxes, just aren’t going away: rain and traffic jams. Anyone who has driven I-5 during rush hour knows just how bad Seattle traffic can be, and anyone who has lived in the Pacific Northwest knows that the rain isn’t going away anytime soon.
The combination of damp weather and heavy traffic can be a dangerous one, and many people drive poorly in bumper-to-bumper traffic and pouring rain. The added risks of low visibility, slick roads, and traffic-induced tempers make driving in Seattle even more dangerous.
You want to avoid the terrible consequences of a car accident, and we can help. Below are three tips that can help you drive defensively, even in terrible traffic and weather. Remember, even experienced, careful drivers are sometimes involved in a car accident by no fault of their own, so seek help from your personal injury lawyer if you’re injured on the road.
Obey the Law
In any weather and in any kind of traffic, it is critical that you obey road laws. Dismissing your state’s traffic laws could lead to extremely dangerous situations, and you don’t ever want to be the cause of an accident.
It may help to remember the following driving tips:
- Always wear your seatbelt, and ask everyone in your vehicle to do the same. Seatbelts save lives.
- Drive within the speed limit and avoid speeding, especially during heavy traffic or bad weather.
- Do not drive distracted. Don’t look at your phone or lean over to pick up something that fell. If you have a child in the backseat who needs assistance, pull over instead of trying to help while driving.
- Do not, under any circumstances, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Obeying the law, especially while driving, saves lives. If you’ve been the victim of a car accident and the other driver was in direct violation of a traffic law, contact your personal injury lawyer right away.
Learn How to Drive in Rain
As you’ve probably learned during you time in the Pacific Northwest, driving in the rain takes a little more skill than does navigating on a warm, sunny, dry day. You should implement these tips whenever you drive in the rain:
- Slow Down
There’s a lot of oil on the road, especially on the freeway. When rain starts falling, the oil on the road’s surface becomes very slick, and it becomes easier for cars to hydroplane and spin out of control.
If you slow down, your wheels are less likely to hydroplane on the water or oil. Learn how to safely pump your brakes if you do begin to slide, and remember that your goal should be to get to your destination safely, not as quickly as possible.
- Turn On Your Lights
Visibility can become very poor during bad weather, and it may be difficult for other drivers to see you without your lights. Always turn on your lights in extreme weather. Your lights will also help you avoid hazards on the road that you might have missed because of the heavy rain.
- Create Space
If you’re driving in the city or when traffic is heavy, it can be easy to drive as close to other cars as possible. But that’s a dangerous habit, even in good weather. In the rain, driving too close can be deadly.
Give the cars around you plenty of space. Rain and slick roads slow braking time, so give yourself an extra two or three seconds of following time so you have time to slow down.
Slowing down, driving with your lights on, and creating space on the road will help you drive defensively and avoid causing an accident.
Drive Safely in Traffic
Many of the good driving habits that you’ll use while driving in traffic are also applicable to driving in the rain: slow down, make yourself visible, and give yourself plenty of following space. Additionally, these tips can help:
- Signal for at least five seconds before changing lanes.
- Look for and avoid vehicles that speed or move dangerously across lanes.
- Be attentive. Constantly scan traffic, use your mirrors, and pay attention to what is going on around you.
- Be prepared for an emergency. Always have an “exit strategy” in case you need to switch lanes quickly or slow down to avoid a crash. Use your lower gears to save on gas.
If possible, plan your daily routine so that you avoid rush hour. Heavy traffic in the SeaTac area isn’t something that you can always avoid, but when you can, do so. You’ll save money, time, and emotional energy when you drive during less busy times of the day.
As you drive safely, you lower the chance of causing a dangerous accident on the road. Remember, not all drivers are as careful as you, so drive defensively while on the road, especially during heavy traffic or bad weather.
If a negligent driver injured you in a car accident, your personal injury lawyer can help. Get in contact immediately to discuss your next step.