Michigan’s Flex Route Set to Ease Traffic Congestion
In late 2017, Michigan’s Department of Transportation (MDOT) opened the state’s first flex route system on US-23 north of Ann Arbor, from M-14 to M-36. The stretch of roadway was selected for the route because it is an area where both rush hour and seasonal traffic congestion is most commonly occurring.
Although preliminary data is not yet available for the first few months of the new route’s existence, road safety officials say the average rush hour drive time has been reduced by 20 minutes and 2018 accident rates are expected to be lower than 2017. The flex route is also providing the communications backbone to support Michigan’s push for autonomous vehicles (CAV) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology.
Driver Rules for the Flex Route
By utilizing the median shoulder as a temporary third lane, drivers can travel a bit more comfortable using the flex route when following these road directions and rules.
- A large green arrow posted above a widened shoulder (flex lane) will show when that flex route is available as a third lane.
- A large red X above the widened shoulder (flex lane) will show when that flex route is not to be used.
- Yellow chevrons will direct motorists to move over or merge to avoid incidents ahead.
Driving in Congested Traffic Comes with Risks
MDOT recommends all drivers handle moving through congested traffic by being a courteous driver, slowing down and staying to the right. Review our safe driving tips for novice and experienced drivers alike traveling on the flex route or in any area where congested traffic is present.
- Always use your turn signal before changing lanes.
- In a multi-lane road, highway or freeway, the left lane is the passing lane.
- Always obey traffic laws, never drink alcohol or use drugs, and always wear a safety belt. Children should be in the right size child seat.
- Do not use cruise control when passing a vehicle.
- Do not stop at the end of on-ramps; merge with the flow of traffic.
- Distractions kill. Texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, or reaching for items in the backseat will distract a driver. And remember, it is illegal to text and drive in Michigan!
- Tailgating greatly reduces your reaction time and increases the likelihood of a collision upon sudden stops.
- Turn off high beams when you see oncoming traffic.
- Aggressive and irresponsible driving will only create more danger. Keep yourself calm by listening to music you enjoy or an audiobook, and practice deep breathing and refocus your energy on driving safe.
If you feel yourself getting anxious, angry, or impatient while driving, take a break by pulling off at the nearest exit.
Irresponsible Drivers Often Make Bad Choices in Busy Traffic
If you were injured in a vehicle accident caused by traffic congestion, you may be entitled to compensation to help with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call the Lee Steinberg Law Firm today for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced Michigan auto accident attorneys: 1-800-LEE-FREE.