I could not believe the idiots on the roads yesterday as I was driving home from work. I know they are out there everyday, but for some reason, I seemed to notice them more yesterday. Let me set the stage.
The snow had started falling which is not uncommon for this time of year in Michigan. It was rush hour and the streets were mostly wet, with a light dusting. The traffic was moving steadily for the most part, with some areas of stop and go traffic. It was not nearly as bad as it could have been had the snow began early in the morning without stopping.
So here I am driving home – keeping a safe distance, no texting, no cell phone – just me and the road. Vehicles and trucks started weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, slamming on the brake, and constantly changing lanes. I watched as they would speed up until they reached the stopped traffic, squeeze through any little gap between vehicles, and speed up again until they reached the next congestion. I even noticed my neighbor. In the meantime, I stayed in one lane, for the most part, and continued to make slow, yet steady progress home.
Thirty minutes later, I reached my exit. To my surprise, I pulled right up next to my neighbor; you know the one that I saw weaving through traffic. I don’t know if he saw me as he maneuvered the rush hour congestion, but he certainly did at the exit. I am sure he tested his patience that day. I know he wasted a lot of gas. It reminded me of the tortoise and the hare. I felt like the winner that day. Due to my slow and steady driving habits, I not only arrived home safely, but I was not stressed or tired.
Why am I writing about this? As my readers know, I regularly blog about safe driving. Drivers who are less aggressive are typically safer. They are less likely to accelerate quickly, weave in and out of lanes, tailgate, or stop abruptly. Here are a few things to consider when driving in rush hour traffic.
- Avoid aggressive driving, including speeding, rapid braking and acceleration.
- Maintain a constant speed. The more dangerous situations are caused by "lane-hopping" and "rubbernecking."
- Always ensure a safe braking distance.
- Travel within the posted speed limit. If other drivers are not following that, and are faster, give way to them.
- When changing lanes, use proper signals and allow a safe distance.
- Be patient. Allow extra time to get where you are going.
If these tips are not enough to change aggressive and impatient driving habits, then remember all your family and friends who will miss you when you are gone. Why not drive with care so that you can have more time with them? With that mindset, you are bound to be in control even if other drivers are not.
Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.