Most of us have done it on road trips involving more than one car. That is, following a friend in another car because you don’t have the directions. If you’ve ever followed a friend, you may have found yourself taking more risks than you normally do. However, you aren’t the only person with this tendency. Researchers at Arizona State University have verified this behavior in their test subjects.

So what’s the explanation? The problem is a lack of coordination between the two cars. The lead car will often drive normally and assume the follower will have no problems keeping up. However, this doesn’t work well in situations involving traffic or traffic lights.

Because the following driver is completely reliant on the lead car, he is forced to take risks to ensure he doesn’t lose the car. This means when the lead car pulls into traffic from a side road, the second car must follow close behind even if the timing is only suitable for one car. The same problem exists when making left turns at intersections.

When driving through an intersection with traffic lights, the lead car may run through a green light that suddenly turns yellow. This forces the second car to run the yellow and possibly a red light. Lane changing also demands risky moves from the following car. The second car also tends to drive too closely behind the lead car in order to prevent other cars from getting between the two.

Although the lead car can compensate to make things easier for the following car, this distracts the lead driver from her driving and increases the risk of a car accident. If there are passengers in the lead car, its driver is further distracted. This reasoning, as well as research, demonstrate that it’s best for the second driver to find his own way using directions or a GPS device.

If a distracted or reckless driver injured you in a car accident, get the legal services of an experienced team of lawyers. Contact us for a free consultation.

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