The annoying things drivers do can quickly turn dangerous. It’s important all drivers understand how to eliminate dangerous driving tendencies in their own driving, and how to deal with dangerous situations created by other drivers. Tailgating, failure to use the turn signal, going slow in the fast lane, and driving with improperly secured loads are some of the more common dangerous tendencies of drivers.
When another driver follows too closely behind another car, it’s a dangerous situation for both vehicles. Tailgating accidents happen every day and cause property damage, injuries, and deaths.
Don’t do it – The guideline is to follow the “3-second rule”. The driver picks a focal point that is parallel to the car in front of the driver, such as a building or a road sign and then counts the seconds it takes to arrive at that same point. If the driver arrives at the point in under 3-seconds, it’s time to slow down or change lanes.
Deal with it – While being tailgated by another driver, experts recommend remaining calm, and not letting emotions control actions. Anger or fear will only worsen the situation. The recommendation is to safely change lanes if possible, and as a last resort, safely pull over to the side of the road and let the tailgating driver pass.
A common issue, is drivers who fail to use their blinkers when turning or changing lanes. The failure to use a turn signal is rarely done maliciously but can cause major accidents.
Don’t do it – Failure to use the turn signal can be an easy thing to fall into the habit of. Drivers should pay attention to comments from their passengers. If they mention a frequent failure to use the turn signal, the driver should correct their driving accordingly.
Deal with it – There’s no easy solution to dealing with drivers who fail to use their blinker correctly. The only thing to do is exercise caution. If there is the potential for another vehicle to turn in front of the driver, the driver should slow down just enough to avoid an accident if they turn suddenly without signaling.
Many highways have what is either officially or unofficially the “fast lane” or “passing lane”. Generally, it’s the furthest left lane. It can be frustrating when drivers “camp out” in such a lane, clogging traffic and making safe passing difficult.
Don’t do it – It can be easy to get in the “passing lane” and then just go into “auto-pilot” driving mode. Drivers should be in the habit of checking for vehicles behind them and if there is a vehicle (or multiple vehicles) lined up, safely switch into a “travelling” lane.
Deal with it – When drivers are stuck behind another vehicle in the “travelling lane”, the key is to not react aggressively by tailgating or other forms of aggressive driving. Drivers should follow the other driver at a reasonable distance, perhaps flashing your lights a couple of time to indicate a desire to pass.
A serious problem with trucks, improperly secured loads can create dangerous situations that lead to injuries or death for other drivers when items fly out of the vehicle and into the road.
Don’t do it – Drivers carrying loads need the correct tie downs (straps, bungees, etc.) and understand how to use them. Loose items should be tied together. Drivers should double check everything before driving, and safely pull over as soon as possible if they notice a load getting loose while driving.
Deal with it – It’s virtually impossible to know when a truck or other load bearing vehicle is going to dump its contents dangerously in front of your vehicle. The best rule of thumb is to give obvious load-bearing vehicles enough space. The ability to stop or safely avoid debris in the road largely depends on how much distance there is between the driver and the load-bearing vehicle.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by another driver, there is no need to fight for fair compensation alone. At Craig Swapp & Associates our experienced attorneys are ready to help. Call us at 1-800-404-9000 or tell us your story by filling out the online form at the bottom of this page.