There’s nothing more stressful as a driver than finding yourself in the middle of a traffic jam. Not only does it slow you down, but it increases the risk of being part of an accident.

Your driving style has a lot to do with your ability to remain safe. Here are five things to do when driving in heavy traffic:

  • Don’t change lanes often: It’s okay to change lanes as necessary, but don’t do this with hopes of beating the traffic and saving time.
  • Keep a safe following distance: There’s no point in driving on another person’s bumper, as doing so increases the risk of a rear-end collision. A minimum of three seconds of following distance is a good starting point.
  • Watch the traffic ahead: Doing so gives you enough time to react to anything that happens, such as an abrupt stop.
  • Avoid distractions: When traffic slows, you may be tempted to do things to pass the time, such as sending a text message or eating. Any distraction increases the risk of an accident.
  • Avoid aggressive driving: Not only should you avoid this yourself, but don’t engage with people who are driving in this manner. Defensive driving techniques will keep you safest at all times.

When you do these things, you’ll find it easier to drive safely in heavy traffic.

If you’re part of an accident despite your best efforts to remain safe, pull to the shoulder of the road, call 911 and administer first aid until help arrives.

Once you discuss your injuries with your medical team, contact your insurance agent and seek ways to hold the negligent driver responsible.