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Is your commute putting you at risk for an accident?

A report published this summer by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that Houston has the third-worst traffic congestion in the nation. If you commute to work in the metro area, you likely have a longer daily drive than the average American.

Review the factors that may increase accident risk on your Houston commute along with strategies to improve safety.

Road rage

Drivers who spend hours stuck in traffic often feel the effects of road rage, either their own or another motorist. Angry actions like speeding, tailgating and erratic driving raise the chances of a collision. Having or responding to road rage also takes both drivers’ focus off the road, putting everyone at risk.

Long distances

The longer you drive to get to work, the greater your statistical risk for an auto accident during your commute. While Houston residents have an average commute of 27 minutes, the region also has a significant percentage of so-called super-commuters who have a drive of longer than 90 minutes to their places of employment.

Environmental factors

Time of day plays a role in accident risk. Data from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration indicates that the afternoon commute from 4 to 7 p.m. tends to be more dangerous than the morning 7 to 10 a.m. rush hour. Friday tends to be the most hazardous day, possibly because people are rushing home or to get an early start on weekend plans.

Understanding the conditions that contribute to commuting collisions can help you stay safe as you travel to and from work in the Houston area.