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Tips for safe driving in New York City traffic jams

Some times all of New York City appears to be one massive, gridlocked traffic jam. It's not your imagination.

The Urban Mobility Report compiled in 2014 by Texas A&M Transportation Institute for the New York City, Newark and Connecticut region listed this area as No. 1 in the nation for annual person-hour delays, with a total of 628,241.

Compared to the American average of 42, drivers in the NYC region spend 74 hours per year stuck in traffic during peak commute times of 6-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m. Only three regions in the country ranked higher.

Below are some tips for safer driving in congested traffic.

Learn to make smart decisions when driving

  • Don't drive aggressively and constantly change lanes.
  • Pay close attention to the braking patterns of the cars and trucks in front of you.
  • Leave three seconds of space between your front bumper and the rear bumper of the automobile in front of you.
  • Remain focused behind the wheel by avoiding common distractions, e.g., cellphone usage, drinking or eating, etc.

Become proficient with driving fundamentals

  • Use turn signals during merges and lane changes.
  • Turn your head to assure blind spots are clear before switching lanes or attempting to merge.
  • The acceleration lane should be used fully to assure safe merges.
  • Plan trips before heading out.
  • Use technology responsibly to make driving safer.
  • Download and use traffic apps to plan your route.
  • Program your radio settings to include some local traffic reporting stations.
  • When heavy traffic is expected, plot alternate routes with your GPS system.

Even safe drivers are sometimes involved in auto accidents in heavy traffic. Learn all of the options that you have to obtain compensation for any injuries and damages you suffer as a result of an at-fault driver's negligence.

Source: State Farm, "Driving Tips for Traffic Jams," accessed Aug. 25, 2017

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