Nothing is worse than being pulled over or forced to take a detour during a long commute or road trip. If you are looking for ways to speed up and streamline your commute, then read on to learn some simple things every driver can do to stay safe on the road while speeding up their travel time.
From knowing how to handle accidents requiring roadside assistance to speed traps halting your journey, here are some ways you can avoid and minimize travel delays.
Avoid Travel Reroutes and Delays
The best and easiest way to avoid delays on your journey is to plan your route out in advance. Using a driving navigation app can help you stay updated on the latest traffic, detours, and construction updates while on your journey.
Planning ahead will always get you ahead. Learn in advance what weather conditions you can expect on the road, and give yourself extra time to get to your destination in the event of an accident.
Plan your route or commute to avoid traffic-heavy times, such as a rush hour. This includes avoiding overpopulated highways during the times when most people in your area head to and from work. You could also learn alternate routes that will take you around the most congested stretches of the road.
If you do get in a traffic jam, be sure to drive safely and carefully and avoid starting and stopping suddenly if you can.
Be Prepared For Speed Traps and Police Stops
With the pandemic greatly reducing travel worldwide, some people have wondered whether the travel industry will rebound in 2021.
As many people are still nervous about flying, many consumers have opted to take road trips for vacations instead. This means there are often many more drivers on the road, some of whom may not be used to driving for vacations and trips. This, in turn, has increased the number of unsafe drivers on the road.
The truth is, police are still out in force watching for unsafe driving habits even during the pandemic, so it is important to be prepared for safety stops and checkpoints.
There are some apps and navigation tools like google maps or Waze that will warn you if a speed trap is ahead, but you should always drive the speed limit and drive safely to avoid being pulled over. This is especially important if you are driving through a town or on a long stretch of road with no one in sight, which may encourage you to speed.
Pay attention to the places where police vehicles tend to go in your area. Eventually, you will become familiar with the places where police officers hide and be able to spot similar locations in other areas as well.
If you are pulled over, remain calm and non-confrontational. This is the best way to have the police stop over and done with smoothly and quickly.
Don’t Cause Accidents by Drowsy or Drunk Driving
While many travelers are familiar with the dangers of driving through the night or driving while drunk, some people forget to account for the potential issues caused by daylight savings time. The change in sleep patterns and daylight can have a detrimental effect on drivers’ alertness and vision.
Even if it seems like a slight change, you could be surprised by how much it throws off your usual driving skill. Changes in sleep patterns can cause you to get into a crash caused by fatigue and drowsy driving, especially during the twilight hours, which are already the most challenging times of day to drive.
Various experts have determined that the negative effects of daylight savings time can last up to two weeks. If you will be commuting or traveling after daylight savings time comes into effect, be sure to get plenty of rest the night before and practice adjusting your sleep habits gradually in advance.
Keep sunglasses in your car to mitigate sudden glare in the mornings, and adjust your driving habits to be slower and more careful when around cars and pedestrians. And always avoid distractions such as cell phones and entertainment systems.
What To Do in the Event of an Accident
If you are in a serious accident, you should of course call the authorities, especially if anyone has been injured. If another car was involved in the wreck, be sure to share insurance and contact information. Gather necessary evidence, and don’t leave the scene of the accident until the police arrive.
However, many times the accidents that take us off the road are minor and don’t involve serious damage to our or others’ vehicles. These can include flat tires, engine failures, getting stuck in a ditch, or running over a loose nail or piece of scrap.
In these cases, while you may not need police or ambulance services, you will still need some form of assistance. You also need to remain calm when first dealing with an emergency situation.
Turn on your hazard lights and pull to the right shoulder as safely as you can. If you cannot pull to a safe location off the road, exit your vehicle, and find a safe place to stand outside it.
Minimize Time Waiting For Roadside Assistance
If you run out of gas or have engine trouble while in the middle of a drive, especially if you are on the highway or somewhere else with lots of high-speed traffic, remain calm and try to get to safety as soon as possible.
Verify your location using GPS or asking someone nearby. If you can’t find either, try to note the name of the highway or road and a nearby landmark. Contact a roadside assistance company, a friend or family member, or a fuel delivery service. If your car is blocking traffic or you think its location may pose a danger to you or others, then call 911.
If you don’t have cell phone reception or a cell phone, try flagging down other drivers for help. Make sure you are standing in a visible location but that you are also out of the way of oncoming traffic. Wave a bright piece of cloth to get attention, and don’t stand on curves or corners. You can ask other drivers to bring gas or call help for you.
You can also ask for a ride to a nearby gas station, but this can be dangerous. Be wary of strangers who offer rides before you ask or who insist on giving you a ride rather than letting you make a call.
The best way to make sure your trip isn’t interrupted is to practice safe driving techniques before an accident or stop can occur. Prioritize safety over speed, and you will get to your destination much faster than if you rushed and got into trouble either through an accident or a police stop.
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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Daily Pune journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.