Driving tips for navigating post-pandemic traffic

FLORENCE TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey state officials say as more people head back to work in person, traffic is back to pre-pandemic levels.

They're reminding everyone to be safe and to follow the rules of the road.

It was not hard to find stories of drivers not following the rules.

"I happened to be in Cherry Hill going to Voorhees," said Dawn Greenwood of Edgewater Park, N.J. "Somebody just pulled out in front of me, but they didn't think nothing of it. They just keep on going."

State officials say there seems to be an adjustment period after months of little to no traffic.

According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, traffic volume dropped to 33% of normal levels in April 2020.

But now, traffic volume is higher than it was pre-pandemic, especially on weekends.

"They've been home now for quite some time, anxious to take a ride to the shore, go out to dinner, go shopping, see friends," said Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Joe Katella of Riverton, N.J. said, "The morning rush hour's picking up. A lot of people are sort of used to an empty roadway, and they're trying to cut in on traffic and do things. It's just a lot more dangerous it feels like."

State officials say simple things like using turn signals and not tailgating can go a long way in making the commute safer and can result in smoother interactions the next time you need to merge.

"Let somebody in. Let one car in. It's really not going to change with any significance your travel time," said Gutierrez-Scaccetti.

Another tip: the fewer lane changes you make, the safer you'll be.

"Moving lane to lane is one of the most unsafe things people do. And then if you don't use your blinker and it's unexpected, it just compounds that problem," added Gutierrez-Sccetti.

Leaving yourself more time can help prevent stressful driving situations.

New Jersey State Police state distracted driving is still the leading cause of crashes in New Jersey.
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