Waking up in the morning to sit in traffic on the way to work is no one’s idea of a good time. However, every day, thousands of workers in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland commute to work in their vehicles. Sitting in traffic and crawling along the interstates and highways can increase your risk of getting into a serious and fatal car accident.
In the early morning hours, hazards are all around as you weave your way to work. Some of the most common dangers drivers experience on their way to work include:
- Road Rage – sitting in traffic can be stressful and aggravating for many drivers. For some drivers, however, it can cause extreme anger and frustration. This frustration can bubble over into driving recklessly. Road rage and aggressive driving is the cause of 66% of all fatal accidents.
- Sleepy Drivers – early morning commutes are full of sleepy drivers. The average American gets just 6.8 hours of sleep a night, and 20% of Americans have a sleep disorder. When fatigued and sleepy drivers get behind the wheel of a car, deadly accidents often occur. In fact, fatigued drivers were responsible for 328,000 accidents a year, according to the National Safety Council.
- Distracted Drivers – sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way to work can be boring. For many drivers, this increases the temptation to multitask behind the wheel of the car. Drivers may answer emails, make work phone calls, or answer texts while driving. Sadly, distracted drivers were responsible for 3,166 fatalities in 2017 alone, according to the NHTSA.
- Glare from the Sun – driving into the sun on the way to work can be blinding. The early morning glare can prevent drivers from seeing motorcyclists, pedestrians, or bicyclists on the road until it’s too late. It can also increase the likelihood of drivers running a red light or stop sign. Whenever possible, drivers should keep sunglasses in their vehicles to help them drive in the morning.
Other Ways Your Morning Commute May be Killing You
Besides increasing your risk of getting into a serious car accident, your early morning commute may be harming you in numerous other ways. A recent Time magazine article examined the negative effects a commute had on the body. These negative health effects include:
- Higher cholesterol levels
- Increase depression
- Increased risk for heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Backaches and pains
- Higher blood sugars
- Higher anxiety levels
- Decreased life satisfaction and happiness
- Poorer sleep
Commuting may be necessary, but it isn’t without risk or harm. In order to stay safe on your morning commute, consider leaving the house earlier to avoid the bulk of the traffic. This will also reduce your stress levels and the negative health effects of commuting by shortening your commute time. If your job offers flexibility, consider working from home a few days a week or staggering your arrival and departure times to avoid the worst of the rush hour traffic.
Contact Our Fairfax Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love has been a victim of a car crash in Fairfax VA, Washington DC, or anywhere in Maryland, you may have difficulty collecting the money you need to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and car damages.
At Hilton & Somer, LLC, our Fairfax car accident lawyers know that insurance companies don’t always play fair. That’s why injured accident victims need an experienced and aggressive legal representative on their side from the moment they’re injured. Contact us at (703) 782-8349 for a free initial consultation and review of your potential case. We are here when you need us the most – and we will fight for you every step of the way.