Driving in rush hour traffic is no easy task, as you always have concerns about being part of an accident. Even if you’re doing everything you can to avoid trouble, there’s always a chance that another driver could make a mistake that causes a crash.

Here are five rush hour driving tips that can improve your safety and lessen the risk of being involved in an accident:

  • Leave more time to reach your destination: Accidents often happen when a driver is in a hurry. While you can’t control what others are doing, you can leave yourself more time so that you’re never in a rush.
  • Consider an alternate route: If your primary route is more dangerous than you would like, it’s time to look into other options. For example, you may be able to avoid highways. Not only can this help you reach your destination faster, but it may also reduce the risk of an accident. It never hurts to consider every possible route.
  • Follow with caution: One of the biggest mistakes drivers make in rush hour traffic is getting too close to the car in front of them. When you tailgate another vehicle, there’s a greater chance of rear-ending the person if they stop quickly. Give yourself an extra car length or two and you’ll feel much better.
  • Pay attention at all times: When traffic is creeping slowly, it’s easy to assume you can let your mind wander. You look at your cellphone, you tune the radio and you chat with passengers. If your mind isn’t on the task at hand you’re increasing the risk of causing an accident.
  • Don’t lane jump: You’re sitting in the right lane, just to realize that traffic is moving faster in the left lane. For this reason, you make a quick change. Soon enough, you find that the right lane is moving faster. It’s never a good idea to lane jump. Once you know what lane you should be in, stay there until you reach your turn.

Even if you follow these tips you could be part of an accident. If this happens, move to safety and call for help. Once you receive treatment, file an insurance claim, learn more about the crash and focus on the steps you can take to protect your legal rights.