Your daily commute to work may be a stressful part of your day, especially if you spend some time on the highway. Driving a long distance or at high speeds could increase your risk of getting into a collision that could have significant financial and medical consequences to you, to say nothing of its impact on your ability to get to work on time.

Although you can’t necessarily avoid your commute unless your employer agrees to let you work remotely, it may be possible for you to change your commute habits slightly and reduce your risk for a crash.

Leave early enough that you never feel like you’re running late

When you already have to spend a significant amount of your day outside of your home and traveling, the idea of leaving even earlier could be distasteful. However, although you may be able to make it to work in 30 minutes, traffic issues like an accident on the highway could mean that you get stuck in a gridlock that increases your commute time by another 15 minutes or more.

Making it a general practice to leave for work early enough to allow you some flexibility in the event of an unexpected occurrence on the road will protect you from showing up late and remove the incentive for speeding on days where you find yourself running late.

Don’t split your attention when in control of a motor vehicle

Spending so much time driving back and forth to work every week can make you feel like you’re losing out on hours of your life. Some people decide that multitasking at the wheel is a way to reclaim those lost hours.

Unfortunately, there is no safe way to divide your attention between the task of driving and other activities. Even if you see other people doing it, it is not safe to eat, dress yourself, do your hair, apply makeup, or read and respond to emails on your way to work.

Remember to do your part to stay calm in difficult traffic scenarios

Getting stuck in a situation where you have no control can be infuriating, which is one reason why road rage is a concern for those with a long commute. Do your best to remain calm when confronted with an unpleasant situation on the road. Not only can your calm demeanor decrease your risk of medical events related to stress, but it can also diffuse a tense situation and prevent things from escalating into a full-blown road rage incident.

Making conscious efforts to reduce your risk can help you stay safe, but it’s important to remember that other drivers still constitute a significant amount of the risk you face on the road each day. Those who get hurt by another driver in a crash may be able to hold that driver accountable for the consequences of their injuries and property damage related to the crash.