There is nothing that feels more out of your control than dealing with a serious traffic jam on your way to work or home from a busy day. Depending on how you’re feeling, the traffic jam might be welcome relief where you get a few minutes to breathe and relax, or it could be infuriating as you try to beat a deadline.
Regardless of how you’re feeling in that moment, speeding, weaving in and out of traffic and otherwise acting recklessly is a bad idea. Not only will you increase your risk of a collision, but you’ll also draw attention to yourself and potentially end up with a traffic ticket (or worse).
What makes traffic jams so dangerous?
One of the biggest issues with traffic jams is that they cause stop-and-go traffic. People are lulled into a false sense of security and may start talking on their phones or getting distracted in other ways.
Someone who has a low tank of gas might start to feel anxious and look for ways to get around traffic, such as speeding through the shoulder (which should only be used by emergency personnel). Someone else might creep up on another vehicle only to accidentally cause a rear-end collision due to distractions.
Still worse are people who become enraged by the traffic jam, because they may become aggressive. They could honk or beep until people let them over, weave back and forth between lanes of slow-moving traffic and push their way in where other drivers were not willing to let them move over. These actions, if they’re caught, could result in a reckless driving citation.
Your behavior on the road can influence your right to retain your license and drive your vehicle. If you do get stopped for speeding, using the shoulder of the road, road rage or other offenses, make sure that you cooperate but stay quiet about what happened. You have an opportunity to defend yourself, so you shouldn’t discuss anything extra with police without understanding your legal rights and what you’re obligated to say or do. If you are ticketed, you can appear in court to contest the ticket.