Reduce Lane Change Anxiety: Tips from a Car Accident Lawyer

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Licensed for 25 years

Attorney in North Charleston, SC

Bill Green

Serving North Charleston, SC

Senior Attorney at firm Green Law Firm

Serving North Charleston, SC

This Car Accident Attorney Wants You to Change Lanes Safely: Here’s How

Perhaps one of the biggest fears we have that people don’t talk about is driving. Operating a car or vehicle is ingrained in our American culture, and yet there are millions of individuals out there who suffer from some kind of driving-related anxiety. It’s understandable; think of all the opportunities for danger on every super highway, or even in your local neighborhood when running to the grocery store for milk!

For drivers, one of the most angst-ridden tasks can be the act of changing lanes. In a recent year, statistics show that of over 3.8 million car accidents, approximately 52 percent of those were involved in a crash on a roadway that had three or more lanes; 46 percent had an accident on a roadway with two lanes. Less than three percent of accidents took place on single-lane roads.

In short, the more lanes there are than, the more opportunities for accidents. More cars + more moving parts + more uncontrolled variables = more accidents. Simple.

Except there are things we can do to be more proactive with our safety. In specific, we can learn how to change lanes better. Better? Yes. There are ways to change lanes that can reduce your chances of having an accident. Here are some tips.

How to Change Lanes Smart and Safe: Tips from a Car Accident Law Firm

1. Change for the right reasons.
Here’s what we mean. Don’t change lanes because…

  • You’re frantic and in a rush,
  • You want to drive up next to another car and see inside; and
  • You’re moving three lanes at once because you were playing with the radio and forgot your exit.
  • Are we exaggerating a bit there? Yes. Because changing lanes should be about logistics and not your emotions.

    You should change lanes if…

  • There are road hazards in your way you want to avoid
  • Someone in front of you is driving below the speed limit
  • Your lane is about to end, or
  • You have to turn at an intersection soon that requires you to drive in a different lane.
  • 2. Use your mirrors correctly.
    Have you ever used your mirror to apply makeup while driving behind the wheel? Or to see where your child’s snack fell so you could reach out and grab it? If so, then you’ve used your mirrors wrong. Your car mirrors should utilize Blindzone Glare Elimination (BGE) settings to keep you the safest. BGE settings are the best positions for your mirrors to be to reduce the size of your blindspots; setting your mirrors up BG# reduces your two major spots into four mini-spots. The less blindspot you have, the more likely you will be to change lanes safely.

    3. Look.
    Look to the left, the right and turn your head quickly to each side to see your surrounds. If it seems “all clear,” then….

    4. Signal.
    Flip your signal on and leave it on throughout the entire lane-change process so everyone around you can see them.

    5. Look again…
    Check the lane to the other side of the lane you want to enter to make sure that nobody is entering from the alternative side at the same time that you are!

    6. Accelerate or slow down as needed.
    Switching lanes requires you to go at a safe place for the lane you are entering. You may have to speed up, or slow down, accordingly.

    7. Make the change and look around again.
    Once you make your lane change, take another look at your mirrors in BGE settings and give “just a glance” and turn your head to make sure you are safe in your surroundings.

    And lastly, remember…

  • Inclimate weather (like rain, snow, or fog) all makes lane changing more complicated. Exercise EXTRA caution during these times.
  • Don’t forget about sun glare! If you’re driving directly into, or away, from the sun, keep in mind that glare may play tricks with your eyes even more!
  • Beware of changing lanes around trucks; the large the truck, the greater its blindspots. It is highly suggested you NOT change lanes directly in front of a truck. If you must change lanes in front of a tuck or large vehicle, make sure to leave a safe distance between the two of you, keeping in mind that it takes longer for heavier vehicles to stop from motion.
  • At Green Law Firm we believe the best kind personal injury attorney is one that you never need. In this spirit, we’ve filled our website with tips, help and fact-based information to keep you and your family as safe. For real-life, valuable advice, law help and tips on everything from car accidents to insurance, visit us online at https://billgreen.law/law-help.

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