As someone who commutes to and from work every day, such as from St. Louis to the suburbs, you know how stressful it can be to make your way through heavy traffic. Even if you’re taking steps to improve your safety and reduce stress, there are always drivers who make life difficult on everyone.

As a commuter, it’s important to understand the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents. Here are a few things to watch for when navigating heavy traffic:

  • Switching lanes: It always seems like the lane you’re in is the one that’s moving the slowest. As tempting as it may be to chase after the fast lane, don’t get into this habit. The more lane changes you make, the more likely it is that you’ll be part of an accident.
  • Distractions: Slow moving traffic will lead many people to search for ways to pass the time, such as by talking on their phone or eating. If you spot someone who’s not paying attention to the road, do your best to create distance between your vehicles.
  • Following too closely: You can’t stop the person behind you from doing this, but you can protect against it yourself. Never drive too closely to the vehicle in front of yours, as it doesn’t leave you much time to stop. It’s better to leave a bit too much space than not enough.
  • Changing traffic patterns: For example, congestion on the interstate often breaks up, just to stop after a short distance. Don’t get ahead of yourself by driving too quickly out of a traffic jam, as the vehicles ahead may not be moving. Remain extremely cautious until you’re 100% sure that the traffic ahead is moving at a normal speed.

If you’re injured in a car accident while commuting to or from work, move your vehicle out of the flow of traffic. Upon doing so, stay inside, as you don’t want to stand anywhere close to moving vehicles.

After you work things out with regard to your health and future treatment of injuries, file an insurance claim and consider if a personal injury claim could also benefit you. There’s nothing that should stop you from seeking compensation for your injuries and other damages.