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How you can increase safety when driving in heavy traffic

You may have noticed that more and more people are moving to Tennessee. The natural beauty, wonderful climate, lower cost of living and plentiful economic opportunities here are just a few things that make the Volunteer State a great place to call home. While the population increase is a sign that Tennessee is thriving, increased traffic and congested roadways are unfortunate side effects of this sudden growth, especially in cities like Knoxville and Nashville.

If you’ve ever driven through heavy traffic, then you know just how stressful and frustrating it can be. Even if you’re an experienced driver, navigating traffic jams and bumper-to-bumper traffic is just as dangerous as it is challenging. Heavy traffic and congestion lead to thousands of motor vehicle accidents every year — not only here, but across the country. The following driving strategies may help you navigate your way through heavy traffic and safely reach your destination.

Avoid driving during rush hour

To steer clear of heavy traffic, you may want to avoid driving during rush hour if you can help it. Rush hour traffic usually peaks between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and again from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. When you’re trying to navigate through rush hour traffic, it will not only take a lot longer to get where you are going, but you will also increase your odds of getting into an accident.

Stay in the right lane

If you are driving on a crowded interstate or highway, stay in the right lane if possible. The left lane is known as the passing lane, or “fast lane.” Never cruise or drive for extended periods in the left lane. By staying in the right lane, you will likely be among slower and more cautious drivers.

Watch for pedestrians

If you are driving through a city or a populated area, always keep an eye out for pedestrians or cyclists. Watch for pedestrians attempting to cross the street in crosswalks. However, while pedestrians always have the right-of-way at crosswalks, they may also try to cross unpredictably or outside of crosswalks.