Posted on 05/29/2018 at 02:16 PM by Troy Cummings
Defensive Measures to Prevent Crashes
Lane change crashes are preventable when professional drivers recognize the hazards and take defensive measures to prevent the crash. The information below can help you improve your driving skills and greatly reduce the risk of a lane change crash.
- Dirty, obstructed mirrors
- Mirrors out of adjustment
- Poor visibility
- Traffic congestion
- Visual - Looking at anything other than the road ahead
- Manual - Taking one or both hands off the wheel for any reason other than shifting
- Mental - Mind is not focused on protective driving
- Aggressive driving
- Frequent lane changes
- Speeding and following too closely
KNOW THE DEFENSE
Maintain one lane: Avoid frequent lane changes. Allow for sufficient stopping distance by avoiding abrupt lane changes.
Maintain proper following distance: Adhere to a minimum six seconds following distance principle; adding one second following distance for each hazard.
Observe proper speed for conditions: Drive 2-3 mph slower than the flow of traffic, not to exceed the posted speed limit and adjust speed based on hazards present.
Avoid distractions: Put away food and all other distractions, such as your cellphone; let calls go to voicemail. It is also important to try resolving work and/or family issues before driving.
Be attentive to the road ahead: If you have to look away, make it a quick glance of less than a second. You should always be looking ahead for slowing traffic and already have programmed your GPS and other devices before leaving.
React properly to hazards: Apply controlled braking at the first sign of vehicles slowing ahead.
Use mirrors properly: Make quick glances to clean, properly adjusted mirrors. Use the "Lean and Look" method to ensure vehicles are not in the front blind spots.
Written by Greg Edwards