One of the toughest maneuvers for any new driver to learn is switching lanes. Put simply, there is so much activity on the roads at any given time that it seems next to impossible for inexperienced drivers to safely switch over. While skills like these usually comes with experience, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Unsafe lane changes are among the leading causes of accidents on the road, right next to distracted driving and speeding. With not much attention given to these types of accidents, it’s easy to forget proper lane changing etiquette in the heat of the moment.
Minor Mishaps, Major Repercussions
The issues associated with improper lane changing are often minor and unintentional. Whether it is forgetting to check a blind spot, or not signaling in time, these mistakes wouldn’t usually be such a big deal. In the heat of heavy traffic, however, they can be deadly.
Alongside the aforementioned issues, changing more than one lane at a time, speeding like changing and cutting off other drivers are all common errors, which can have ruinous results. However, even if the collisions don’t escalate enough to become fatal, they can still cause considerable damage to your vehicle.
Lane changing becomes even more complex on freeways. The pressures of merging and the presence of multiple lanes offer complications usually not seen on the road. Furthermore, the high speeds of highways mean that usually inconsequential errors become devastating. Worse still, freeways are littered with semis and other large vehicles, meaning that the chance of fatality of crashes is also higher.
How to Safely Maneuver a Lane Change
Fortunately, small fixes here and there can minimize the dangers of switching lanes. As long as you follow these fundamental tips, you don’t have to worry about failing this simple maneuver again:
- Beware of others. You can’t always be sure that other drivers are paying attention. Put your destiny into your own hands by always being on the lookout and making sure that you have enough space and time to switch over.
- Avoid unpredictability. Other drivers should always know what you’re thinking. Signal in time and make sure that other drivers have enough time to react to your plans.
- Don’t feel pressured to switch over. Often times, you don’t have to switch lanes until you need to turn extremely soon. Switch lanes only when it’s optimal for you and surrounding drivers – don’t force the issue.
- Use common sense. Don’t change more than one lane at a time, change too close to an intersection, or and only change if there are dashed lines. As a rule of thumb, if it doesn’t make intuitive sense, then don’t do it!
As long as you have these rules in mind, both regular and freeway driving can be a breeze once again!
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an automobile accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact my office immediately. As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373