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Traffic congestion is a part of life on the Oregon Coast this time of year. With an increase in visitors on our roads comes a corresponding increase in traffic incidents to generate more congestion. There are a few measures citizens can take to assist emergency responders and help keep delays minimal.

If you find yourself in a congested area, consider the following:

- When stopped in traffic, make sure your vehicle isn’t blocking any intersecting roads or driveways.

- If you decide to turn your vehicle off, make sure you will be able to get it started again. If the delay occurs at night, your headlights could run your vehicle’s battery down.

- Make sure your headlights are on and leave your foot on the brake, even in the daytime. Drivers behind you may not realize that traffic is stopped ahead. The more visible you are the better.

- Stay in your vehicle. Even though traffic is stopped, exiting your vehicle on the roadway is hazardous; traffic may begin moving suddenly or emergency responders could be approaching the scene.

- Stay focused when passing the cause of the congestion. Additional incidents sometimes happen due to drivers paying too much attention to crashes and paying too little attention to the road.

- Use extreme caution when turning around or changing lanes. You could end up blocking traffic yourself. Emergency personnel may use the oncoming lane to get to the scene.

- Find a place to wait it out. If you’re in Lincoln County, there is a good chance a park, natural area, or business is nearby. It may not be a planned excursion, but it’s probably better than waiting in your car.

- Be courteous! Being stuck in traffic is frustrating for everyone involved.

The best way to deal with traffic congestion is to not be a part of it. Adjust your travels to times when congestion is unlikely or plan alternate routes. When congestion is forecasted, take care of household and other errands well beforehand.

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