Aerial view of highway and overpass.

Help make your commute safe and sane

Driving to work is a necessary evil for many. Try these hints for navigating rush hour.

Rush hour roadways are busy by definition. Stay cautious with these tips for getting to work safely:

Leave early

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety , speeding plays a role in approximately a quarter of traffic deaths each year. If you have a long commute, build a few extra minutes into your schedule so you can stick to the speed limit and accommodate for heavy traffic. And stay alert throughout the drive — even if it's a familiar commute.

Be prepared for your exits, make lane changes early so you're in the correct turning lane, and listen to traffic reports to be prepared for situations that could cause delays.

Wear appropriate footwear

Your shoes could affect your ability to control your car in some situations. Open-heel shoes can slip off and wedge under pedals, while high heels can catch on floor mats, delaying acceleration or braking. Wear sneakers or low-heeled shoes while driving — and slip on your work shoes once you've arrived.

Drive distraction-free

Avoid anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road and your mind off driving. This includes using your cell phone (even hands-free devices), grooming, changing radio stations and other common distractions.

Avoid aggressive driving

Mornings can sometimes be stressful. Add a busy roadway and that can compound aggression in some drivers. Avoid aggressive driving and be watchful for possible aggression in other drivers.

Shield against harsh sunlight

Morning and evening commutes sometimes coincide with sunrise or sunset. In addition to using the car's sun visor, wear a pair of polarized sunglasses and keep your windshield clean to maximize visibility. Also reduce your speed, leave extra space between you and the car ahead of you and turn your headlights on so other drivers can see you better.

Choose the safest route

Typically, there are multiple ways to get to your destination. Choosing a familiar safe route may mean you travel the same route day in and day out, but it may provide you safety. In addition, it never hurts to know some alternate routes or backroads to take in case there are delays or road construction.

Maintain your vehicle

Proper vehicle maintenance may reduce the risk of a breakdown during your daily commute. Simple ways to help maintain your vehicle include regular oil changes and routinely checking the tire pressure and wear.

Car safety features

Many of the new vehicle safety features, such as blind spot detection, forward collision warning, back-up assist cameras along with lane departure warning help provide additional safety protection during your travels.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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