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Pendergast Law Personal Injury Lawyers

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Safe driving tips for Seattle-area commuters

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2023 | Car Accidents

Commuting in the Seattle area can be exceptionally tricky, especially with the region’s notorious traffic and frequently unpredictable weather conditions. Ensuring your safety and the safety of others on the road should be a top priority.

Also, remember that the region’s weather can change rapidly. Keep an emergency kit in your car that includes items such as a flashlight, blankets, a first-aid kit and nonperishable snacks. Keep your smartphone charged in case you need to call for assistance.

Adapt to the weather

Seattle is notorious for its persistently frequent rainfall and sporadic snowfall. When it is raining, reduce your speed and increase your following distance to allow for extra braking time. Ensure your windshield wipers are in good working condition, and always turn on your headlights to improve visibility. When driving in snow or ice, use chains or winter tires for better traction.

Plan your commute

About 21% of commuters in Seattle drive alone, with another 3% using a rideshare. These drivers must deal with often-congested traffic, hills and slopes, construction zones and pedestrians and cyclists.

To avoid unnecessary stress and reduce the risk of accidents, meticulously plan your commute ahead of time. Consider using navigation apps to check traffic conditions in real time and find alternative routes if necessary. Leaving a few minutes earlier can also help you avoid the rush and arrive at your destination safely.

Stay alert

Drowsy or distracted driving is a significant risk on Seattle’s roads. Ensure you get enough rest before your commute and avoid using your phone while driving. If you need to make a call or send a message, pull over to a safe location. Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists, especially in busy urban areas.

Maintain your vehicle

Regular vehicle maintenance is important to ensure your car operates safely. Check your brakes, tires, lights and signals regularly. Do not forget to keep your windshield and mirrors clean for optimal visibility. A well-maintained vehicle is less likely to break down on the road, reducing the risk of accidents and delays.

Follow traffic laws

A fundamental aspect of driving safely is to obey traffic laws. Adhere to speed limits, stop at red lights and yield the right of way when required. Avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating and road rage.

In addition, it is imperative to wear your seat belt. Seat belts frequently save lives and significantly reduce the risk of injury in accidents. Ensure that all passengers in your vehicle also buckle up before you start operating the vehicle. Seat belt use is not only a legal requirement but also a simple and effective way to protect yourself and others on the road.