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How to drive safely in heavy city traffic

There's nothing more frustrating as a driver than coming to a dead stop in a traffic jam. However, if you commute to and from work, you're well aware that driving in heavy city traffic is part of your day.

As you drive in these conditions, it's important that you take steps to protect yourself as well as everyone else on the road. This holds true of other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.

While no two traffic jams are the same, here are some tips you can follow to drive safely in such conditions:

  • Turn your head back and forth: This allows you to see everything that's going on around you, from the driver who's changing lanes to the pedestrian who decided to dart into traffic.
  • Maintain a safe following distance: Traffic may be slow, but that doesn't mean you should drive a couple inches off the bumper in front of yours. Lay back several car lengths so you have plenty of space to safely operate.
  • Don't make too many lane changes: There are times when this is necessary, such as to make a turn or move out from behind a parked vehicle. It's okay to change lanes, but only if you have a good reason. Avoid changing lanes just for the purpose of saving a few minutes.

These tips give you more confidence when driving in heavy city traffic, but they don't guarantee your safety.

Some other drivers don't care to take as much caution. If a negligent motorist causes an accident, move out of traffic, call 911 and wait for police to arrive before doing anything else. It's the steps you take now that will help you when filing an insurance claim.

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