From magnusfranklin on flickr

I was still in bed when I heard that big bang this morning. Since I already heard that similar type of sound a few times this year, I knew that it was another fender-bender of a car crash outside.

My house faces a street intersection that can get quite busy during rush hours even though at other times, the traffic is quite low to moderate. Fortunately, my house is separated from the main street not only by a pedestrian sidewalk but also a steel fence, garden area and a front lane. So the traffic is still quite a distance from my front door.

I went to the window of my home office which faces the street and sure enough, there was a car stopped just past the intersection and another one that was actually off the road right on the corner pedestrian sidewalk area. This second car must have been hit with enough force to send it off the

road. Fortunately, no pedestrians were on that corner at that time. If this was during the school year, this could have been very different.

What amazes me is that this is about the fourth or fifth such traffic accident at the same intersection this year. It’s usually when one car is trying to beat the traffic lights and another one is turning into the intersection. The times of these car accidents are always either morning or evening rush hours.

Always in a rush is a symptom of poor time management

The drivers of the speeding vehicles who tried to outrun the yellow (or even red) lights were likely in a rush to get somewhere. They are the ones who feel extra frustrated especially when it seems that each time they approach a traffic light, it’s turning amber or red. I know the feeling because I’ve been late for appointments on the road too (although not recently).

The need to rush somewhere especially during rush hours is a symptom of poor time management. These folks just did not factor in adequate extra time needed either in the morning or right after work when traffic is the heaviest.

Some time management tips to avoid the need to rush

Since I’ve been down this road before so to speak, I’ve learned a few things to avoid the need to rush. Here are some useful tips.

  1. Factor in additional travel time in the morning, especially during snow days if you live in winter zones
  2. Wake up earlier in the morning and go to bed earlier the night before so you are alert
  3. Prepare as much as possible during the night by setting out your work materials and wardrobe (do this for kids too)
  4. If possible, schedule appointments and travel outside of rush hours
  5. Relax during driving knowing it’s better to arrive late and safe in one piece
  6. Enjoy music or an educational audio while driving
  7. Do not try to beat the traffic lights and drive defensively especially through intersections

As far as I know, none of the car accidents outside my home this year resulted in any loss of life but there have been injuries requiring ambulances and vehicles requiring tow trucks. I’m sure that we have all seen on the TV news, other accidents where the circumstances were much worse.

These types of fender-benders, as with most car accidents, are totally preventable. If only individuals learn not to be in so much of a rush, a lot of damage, injuries and grief could be avoided. This is always a very expensive lesson for those who were the offending drivers as they not only put themselves at risk, but also other innocent drivers, passengers and pedestrians in danger.

We have all heard that by improving our time management habits, we will become more productive. But now we also know that better time management in terms of advance preparation can also possibly save lives and limbs.

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