Learning to Drive in Heavy Traffic

Anytime you're in a really populated area and you have to drive around, especially in unfamiliar territory, it can be a little intimidating if you're still learning to drive in heavy traffic. However, the key to being safe is to give yourself as much room as possible. If someone is in a bigger hurry than you are and they decide to cut you off, instead of tailgating them to make a point, it's much better to back off and give yourself a least a couple car lengths to maneuver in and always take time to inspect your spare tire before you leave. Although it's frustrating, this is much more efficient and safe for you and your passengers.

Using Mirrors Properly

If you're in the city and it's difficult to give yourself that much room, it's important to be aware of everything that's going on around you. This means using your mirrors, watching for pedestrians, and watching for road signs that announce whether or not certain lanes are open or closed. Paying attention to all these things will give you as much head notice as possible before you actually arrive to a particularly jammed part of the road. Make sure if you are going to change lanes in this type of situation that you turn your signals on in plenty of time before you actually reach the turn. This will give cars on either side of you time to slow down and let you in.

If you're on the highway and there's a lot of traffic at that particular time, try to find the most open lane. This is not going to be the lane all the way to the right because that is where traffic is merging in and you need to give them room to catch up to the speed of traffic. Usually, the best lanes to be in are more towards the left side of the road where you either have the carpool lane to choose from or the number two and three lanes. This is where traffic is moving at its smoothest pace without having to deal with all the right lane distractions. Again, make sure you're not tailgating or driving particularly close to other cars in parallel lanes.

Keep Distractions to a Minimum

Distractions are going to be a big problem so make sure you try to keep even the Bluetooth use of your cell phone down, make sure your radio is not so loud that it doesn't allow you to hear nearby traffic and that your passengers are not causing havoc inside the vehicle. You also want to have a clear view of all your mirrors so you can keep an eye on your blind spot, especially when traffic is changing so much. Make sure you know what's going on behind you as well as in front of you, because you want to know if someone's going to end up getting your bumper or cutting you off from behind as well.

For those who might be afraid to drive in heavy traffic, it's unnecessary because you can drive defensively and be as safe as any other time of the day. Typically, traffic when everyone is trying to go home is the worst so if you can avoid driving during those times, it's best. You might try to schedule your errands or commutes earlier or later, or try to complete some of your transactions online. However, if you cannot avoid it, then learning to drive in heavy traffic only requires that you breathe, relax and take it one intersection at a time.

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