5 Tips for a Safer Commute

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

Member Insights by Donahey Law Firm

The average American’s commute is 26 minutes long. If you work five days a week, that’s almost nine days of driving in a year. With so much time spent in the car, it’s important to think about safety on the road. Use these five tips to create a safer commute.

1)   Don’t Drive Distracted

Technically we could break this down into hundreds of silly things people do while driving—eating, shaving, putting on makeup, texting, etc. To stay safe on the roads, your eyes need to be on the actual road. Wake up 10 minutes earlier to finish your tasks before you jump in the car. If you absolutely have to be productive while driving, try listening to an audiobook or an informative podcast. Keep your eyes and hands free to concentrate on the commute.

2)   Leave at a Different Time

Businesses tend to run on similar schedules and that means heavy congestion during certain hours of the day. If you want to stay safer on your commute, try avoiding rush hour altogether. If you can’t alter the time of day you need to be at work, alter the time you give yourself to get there. Speeding leads to many crashes and injuries. Baking extra time into your commute can lessen anxiety and keep you safe.

3)   Adjust Your Route

If you want to stay safe from other cars on your commute, then you need to be around fewer cars. Major roads tend to attract major traffic. Do some research into traffic patterns and accident statistics on particular highways to find the safest route. Changing your route may also help avoid other hazards such as unprotected left turns or the sun shining in your eyes.

4)   Follow the Rules

It’s an undisputed fact that when all cars are following the rules of the road, their drivers reach their destinations safely. Be a rule follower! Use your turn signal, keep proper spacing between vehicles, turn into the correct lane, use the zipper technique when merging, etc. This also includes keeping your car tuned up and using safety features such as seatbelts.

5)   Avoid Commuting

The safest commute is having no commute at all. While it won’t be possible for everyone, ask your boss if you can work from home, even for a couple of days a week. Reducing the time spent in the car increases your safety. If you can’t avoid leaving your house for work, consider public transportation. Not only is it good for the environment, but it also means you can be as distracted as you want, and you don’t have to follow any traffic rules.

Commuting is often necessary but can be dangerous. Knowing how to stay safe on the roads is critical to maintaining safety during your commute. Now go out and be a safe driver!