How much time do you spend in your car sitting in traffic? Although you might not know the exact amount time, you know it’s far too much. In fact, you could be spending about 42 hours a year or more stuck in traffic jams, according to a new report by the Texas A & M Transportation Institute (TTI).

The report looked at U.S. highway congestion and estimates that commuters are dealing with the worst-ever traffic congestion in history due to cheap gas and a strong economy. As a result, more drivers are on the road, causing an increase in traffic. Additionally, the study found that Americans drove a record number of miles during the last year.

Traffic and congestion seems to be everywhere, affecting motorists throughout the nation, but there are certain parts of the country that are worse than others. For example, the report reveals that drivers in the Washington D.C. area have the worst gridlock in the country, wasting 82 hours a year sitting in traffic jams—about twice the national average.

Because the traffic problem seems to be getting worse, drivers often make performance errors and poor decisions on the road because they are annoyed with traffic or are in a hurry because they are running late for work due to the congestion. As a result, many traffic collisions occur out of frustration. In fact, many drivers get aggressive after sitting in traffic. Unfortunately, aggressive driving can lead to needless auto accidents and injuries. For this reason, it is always good to be reminded of the following tips, especially when driving in traffic:

  • Keep your eyes on the road, even though traffic might not be moving fast. You never know when traffic might suddenly stop again.
  • No one likes a bully. Remember, you are not the king of the road and you must follow the road rules any time you are at the wheel—even when you are frustrated with traffic.
  • Pay attention to your body. Recognize when you are stressed. Are your muscles tense? Has your breathing changed?
  • Take several deep breaths when you are feeling frustrated at the wheel. Breathing can reduce stress and tension and help you drive more safely when you are feeling frustrated.

While you might be a calm and safe driver, the other driver next to you might succumb to aggressive driving behaviors. If you were injured in a car crash as a result of an aggressive driver, you need to seek legal advice about pursuing a personal injury claim for your damages. We would be happy to explain your legal rights and answer your questions in a free consultation. We are just a phone call away at (301) 942-9118.