3 Tips for Avoiding Seattle Traffic

According to TomTom’s 2016 Traffic Index, Seattle is the fourth-most-congested city. On average, Seattle’s traffic increased driving travel time by 31%. And during rush hour, Seattle was rated the second-most-congested city in the country.

If you have to drive in Seattle’s heavy traffic every day, you know firsthand how dangerous it can be. Rates of car accidents increase when more cars are on the road-and when many of the drivers of those cars are angry, frustrated, or distracted.

In a previous blog, we talked about how to drive safely in heavy traffic. An even better way to stay safe is to avoid this heavy traffic entirely. Here’s how you can do that.

1. Rearrange Your Work Hours

Of course, rush hour is a heavy traffic time, no matter where you live. Typically, rush hour is between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

You may be able to avoid driving during rush hour by rearranging your work hours. Ask your boss if you can come into work at 10 and leave at 6, or come in at 7 and leave at 4. You could also take the second shift or the night shift-but be careful, because there are more drunk drivers on the roads at night.

2. Plan and Prepare

You may already know about rush hour, but did you know that the busiest traffic day is not a weekday? Saturday typically has the busiest roads. Traffic is also heavier in the summer, particularly in August.

Traffic may also increase on holidays and during special events. Traffic going into the Seattle area greatly increases during events like Seafair, which is over a weekend in July or August, and Bumbershoot, which is over Labor Day weekend.

You may not be able to avoid driving during all of these high-traffic times, so prepare in advance for your drive. Washington State Department of Transportation provides a handy commute calculator. In the calculator, you can enter where you are, where you’re heading, and what time it is, and the calculator will tell you how long it takes to get there.

Avoid hassle by checking conditions before you leave and planning alternate routes. You can get regular traffic updates from the radio or from many types of GPS systems. You can use apps like Google Maps to calculate alternate, less-congested routes to your destination.

3. Use Public Transportation

Seattle’s transportation system is growing. In 2009, the Link Light Rail began taking people from downtown Seattle to the Sea-Tac airport. In March 2016, it began taking passengers to and from the University of Washington and Capitol Hill. More stations will open soon. You can buy a ticket at each station, or you can purchase a frequent-rider card called an ORCA card.

There is also a bus system throughout the Seattle area. Use King County’s trip planning website to plan your bus route.

Of course, carpooling is a great way to cut down on overall traffic congestion. According to South Florida Commuter Services, if everyone carpooled once a week, they could reduce traffic by up to 20%. Plus, the average carpooler saves $600 a month. Rideshareonline.com can help you find other people with a similar commute schedule.

If you’re planning on moving, consider moving closer to your workplace so you can cut down your commuting time. If you live close enough, you could even bike or walk to work.

Steering clear of Seattle’s traffic can help you decrease your car accident risk. But car accidents can happen to anyone, no matter how careful they are. If you’ve been in a car accident, contact attorney Robert B. Kornfeld for experienced representation.

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