Part 4 – Top 10 Driving Tips To Maintain Your Sanity in Atlanta Traffic


In the last 3 posts, we’ve learned how dangerous Atlanta traffic can be. So what can you do to be safer and keep your sanity while driving through our beautiful city? Specifically, what can you do to avoid needing our law firm? With apologies to David Letterman, here are the top 10 tips:

  1. Steer clear of rush hour if possible. – Oh, the dreaded rush hour in Atlanta… it actually doesn’t last all day, although it seems like it does! Rush hour generally lasts from 6am to 10am in the morning and 3pm to 7pm in the evening. If it’s not possible to avoid those hours, try to stay off the roads between 7-8am and 5-6pm, when the city sees 5.1% and 5.8% increases of its daily traffic volume, respectively. 
  1. Take back roads when possible. While the Downtown Connector and I-285 (“the Perimeter”) might seem like the quickest way to get around Atlanta, actually the opposite could be true should you encounter heavy traffic. Check to see if there are alternative routes using smaller roads instead of highways. 
  1. Use a traffic app to stay ahead of the unexpected. This is the best way to find all those back roads! Waze and Google Maps are commonly used, but also WSB-TV offers a traffic app that allows you to see real-time updates on accidents, construction, and other traffic pattern changes.
  1. Stay focused. If you do end up sitting in a traffic jam, avoid distractions such as food, loud music or podcasts, or using your cell phone—and always leave plenty of distance between you and other cars! 
  1. Don’t STAY in the far right lane. Ever. It’s a basic principle taught in driving class when you’re a teenager: stay in the right lane while driving, and if you need to pass, signal appropriately, pass in the left lane, and return to the right lane as quickly as you safely can. This does not work in Atlanta, because many of those far-right lanes are Exit Only. If you’re cruising in the right lane, and then discover you need to move over because you’re in an exit only lane, you may increase Atlanta’s already-heavy rate of brake-slamming. And you’ll just add to the ire of all the other frustrated Atlanta drivers around you.
  1. Obey speed limits. Think you can save time by speeding? You’d have to travel 100 miles to save roughly 5 minutes, moving at 80 mph instead of 75 mph. Speeding kills people, and isn’t worth the cost. Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that small speed increases were enough to raise a driver’s risk of severe injury or death.
  1. Only drive sober. It’s pretty simple: don’t drink and drive. If you consume marijuana, alcohol, or use potentially impairing prescription medications, don’t drive. If you’re going to drive, don’t consume any of those substances. If you ARE going to drink, take advantage of Uber and Lyft, or choose a designated driver who won’t be impaired during your outing.
  1. Put your smartphone away. Stow your cell phone away, turn it to airplane mode, or activate call/text blocking features like Apple’s Do Not Disturb. But whatever you do, DO NOT TEXT WHILE DRIVING. You can set up notifications on your phones to text folks to let them know you are driving and can’t message with them. Also, don’t forget that Georgia has a hands-free law, and if law enforcement catches you holding your cell phone while driving, it’s an automatic visit to court AND a fine.

  2. Wear seatbelts. The single most important thing you can to protect yourself in an accident is to properly wearing a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of serious injury or death in a crash by up to 50 percent. This also goes for the back seat: Princess Diana was not wearing a seatbelt in the back seat.

  3. Make sure you have the proper amount of auto insurance. Nobody, and we do mean NOBODY, enjoys paying for automobile insurance. But first of all, it’s required by law in Georgia. And second, if you’re in an accident, you’ll be so glad you are covered. Visit our “Auto Insurance 101” page for a primer on Georgia’s auto insurance requirements, and to learn what those vague terms (“comprehensive,” “collision”, “uninsured motorist coverage”, etc.) mean. 


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