As the days become longer and warmer weather sprinkles itself throughout our forecasts, our thoughts quickly turn to weekend getaways. And as soon as you get on the interstate, you realize that everyone else had the exact same idea. Traffic is bumper to bumper, you’re moving at a snail’s pace, and your plans of lounging by the hotel pool are getting shorter by the minute. And if you’re not an experienced city driver, you may get a bit nervous at the thought of moving yourself through a seemingly endless wave of traffic. If you’re a traffic novice, below are some tips that will help you navigate your way safely to your destination.

Plan Ahead

If your route takes you through major metropolitan areas, plan your trip around rush hour traffic. You’ll avoid the headache of merging with a sea of drivers all anxious to get home.

Stay Alert

Traffic turns otherwise sane drivers into desperate renegades fighting for an open gap in between vehicles. Now isn’t the time to create a new Spotify playlist called “Traffic Jams.” Keep your eyes on the road and you’ll be able to react quickly to that guy in the sportscar determined to cross three lanes of traffic to make his exit.

Try to Remain Calm

If driving in heavy traffic isn’t your thing, then you’re probably going to get a bit anxious when you run into it. Working yourself into a panic will distract you from the road, which may cause you to be in an accident. Drive slower and keep a safe distance from other drivers. And if it gets to be too much, there’s no shame in pulling off at a nearby exit and finding an alternative route.

Be Prepared

This tip isn’t just for driving in traffic. As a driver, you should always be prepared for an emergency. Make sure you have tools and supplies in the event that you have an accident (road flares, jack, spare tire). Research your options for roadside assistance before you get on the road. Also, make sure your registration, insurance card, and other important documents are current and easy to find.

If your driving skills need improvement, then check out the online and in-person driving improvement classes from A1 Driver. In addition to brushing up on your driving knowledge, you’ll receive points that might help you lower your insurance costs.