For many drivers, being involved in or witnessing a car crash is fairly rare. Months and sometimes years can go by without witnessing one. The reason for this is that traffic, for the most part, behaves predictably. We can count on motorists driving on the right side of the road, obeying traffic signals, and driving with the flow of traffic. This makes it possible for motorists to coordinate their actions while making adjustments for occasional aggressive or erratic drivers.
However, some of us have a few bad habits and have surprised others on the road because of an erratic maneuver. Everyone can make the road safer by striving to drive more predictably. Here are four tips for accomplishing this:
Avoid Abrupt Maneuvers
Make your turns and speed changes smoothly and gradually. When moving across multiple lanes, do it one lane at a time. Signal, check your blind spot, and then gradually move into the adjacent lane when it’s clear to do so. Then repeat this process for each lane you wish to cross. Smooth and gradual maneuvers also work well when driving in slippery road conditions.
Use Your Turn Signals
Predictability requires making your intent clear to surrounding traffic. Signal well in advance to allow others time to adjust accordingly. Signaling as you make your maneuver defeats the point of using your turn signal because your maneuver is already plainly obvious by the motion of your car.
Minimize Lane Switching
Lane switching to take advantage of momentary speed differences between lanes saves negligible if any time. Choose a lane that makes sense according to the distance to your exit and stick with it. Lane changing exposes you to a greater accident risk than staying put.
Stay Focused and Plan Ahead
Distracted or unfocused drivers often make sudden and drastic maneuvers to get off an exit, or make a turn that they notice at the last moment. Focused attention on the road and following a plan allows you to drive smoothly and safely to your destination. If it looks as though you will miss your turn or exit, don’t attempt a “kamikaze” maneuver. It isn’t worth getting into an accident. Get off at the next exit or go around the block and backtrack.
If you require legal advice because you were injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact us.