There’s no doubt that driving in traffic can cause a significant amount of stress, especially in the early morning hours. And when sleepiness is present, focus can often dwindle, leaving the driver groggy and therefore more likely to make costly traffic accidents.

Six drivers are recuperating from an early morning crash last Wednesday on Interstate 15 after what many are calling one of the worst morning traffic snarls of this year. According to authorities, the multi-car accident occurred in the City Heights area near state Route 94 connector ramp at about 5:30 a.m. – a time of day notorious for poor visibility and early morning marine layers.

Reports at San Diego 6 say that paramedics were called on scene, although the extent of injuries as a result of the car accident is unknown.

Just a half hour after the accident, the traffic lanes of I-15 were entirely closed at the busy 805 split, causing a nightmarish traffic jam that took hours to untangle. Drivers were diverted onto El Cajon Boulevard, causing massive street blockage as well.

Fortunately, no fatalities were reported as a result of the pileup.

How can you defend yourself and reduce your risk of accidents such as these? Consider the following safety tips next time you find yourself behind the wheel at an early hour.

Tips for early morning commuters

  • Use your headlights

Early morning commutes are often the most susceptible to traffic jams and pileups for that matter due in part to the reduced visibility. Be sure to use your headlights during the early morning driving hours to help bring attention to your vehicle and illuminate the road ahead.

  • Don’t tailgate

It’s never been more important to use the “3 second rule” when driving, especially in poor visibility and in potentially compromising situations like an early morning commute. Simply located a stationary object ahead and as the car in front of you passes, count. By the time you reach three, your vehicle should pass the stationary object. In inclement weather, or in otherwise dangerous road conditions such as traffic, increase the distance by 5 to 10 seconds.

  • Rest, rest, rest

It goes without saying: the more you are rested, the better you will perform behind the wheel. If you’re anticipating an early morning commute, go to bed an hour early to make up for the early rise. Try not to depend on caffeinated drinks too much – there’s little replacement for a good night’s rest.

Pain or injury after a multi-car accident

If you have been involved in a multi-car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To review the details of your personal injury case, call Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. at 1-858-551-2090 for a free consultation.