Highway Close Calls

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Harrowing Close Calls on the Highway and What We Can Learn

If you’ve been driving long enough, you have likely experienced a close call on the road. Remember that time you slammed on your breaks to avoid a fender bender or stopped in the middle of changing lanes to avoid colliding with a car in your blind spot? While those close calls are frightening, they are also opportunities to reexamine our driving skills and correct bad habits. The following videos captured some harrowing close calls and are a great tool to improve our auto safety.

Passing Cars

This compilation video shows numerous examples of drivers cutting it too close when passing. It can be frustrating to be stuck behind a slow driver, but there are ways to pass safely. Adjust your mirrors to eliminate blind spots and glares. Before passing, pull back and give yourself ample time and space to accelerate to a faster speed than the vehicle in front of you. Lastly, have a plan in place in the event you are unable to safely complete the pass. For more tips on safely passing a truck see here.

Parked or Disabled Cars on the Side of the Road

This near-miss video shows the dangers of being parked on the shoulder of the highway. AAA recommends that if you need to pull over on the road, exit onto the far right shoulder and as far off the road as possible. If the right shoulder is not an option, pull over onto the left shoulder and as far off the road as possible. Do not pull over to the shoulder unless it is indeed an emergency. If you need to exit your vehicle, do not stand behind or directly in front of your car. Make sure to turn on your hazard lights. Under most circumstances, it is safest to remain in your vehicle with your seatbelt on until assistance arrives. If you need to exit your car, exit on the side facing away from the road and get as far off the road as possible. When approaching a stopped vehicle on a highway shoulder, slow down and change lanes to put as much space as possible between you and the other vehicle.

Motorcycles

This video highlights how quickly things could turn deadly. Motorcycles have excellent maneuverability and are smaller and harder to spot in traffic. They also appear faster and farther away than they really are because of their size. When following a motorcycle, maintain a distance of at least four seconds to give you time to react and give them greater space in inclement weather. Always check your blind spots and then recheck them. In 2015, 41% of two-vehicle fatal crashes involving motorcycles and another type of vehicle occurred when vehicles were turning left while motorcycles were going straight, passing, or overtaking other cars. If you are turning left at an intersection and see a motorcycle, attempt to make eye contact with the rider before turning. Do not rely on motorcycle blinkers because many do not automatically turn off like cars. Generally, vehicles going straight through an intersection or a green light have the right of way.

Motorcycle riders should always make sure your headlight is on and wear a helmet and brightly colored gear. Do not rely on drivers to use their lane signals—watch for cues such as breaking, the direction of wheels, head movements of drivers, hand placement on the steering wheel and significant gaps in traffic where cars may change lanes.

The Kelly Law Team is experienced in handling motor vehicle accidents. If you are injured in an accident, call us today at 602-283-4122.

Highway Close Calls
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