Have you been involved in a sideswipe collision in the past and looking for a way to avoid it happening again? Do you worry about your children driving on the highway? If so, then you need to learn all that you can about how to avoid sideswipe collisions.
Part of the process is knowing the most common situations that cause sideswipe collisions, then avoiding them like the plague. You may not be able to control other drivers, but you can control your driving habits.
See below for an in-depth guide on sideswipe collisions and how you can actively avoid them in your life.
1. Always Use Your Turn Signal
Turns signals might very well be the most underappreciated aspect of the car. Our vehicles these days are flooded with safety features like lane-merging assist and front/rear alerts, yet we still fail to use the feature that alerts others to our driving.
Sideswipe collisions occur when two vehicles on the same side of the road come into physical contact with one another. One driver’s right side of the car hits the other driver’s left side of the car.
The most common scenario for sideswipe collisions is when one of the vehicles (or both of them) tries to merge into another lane irresponsibly. They merge into the lane without using their turn signal, swerve from lane to lane trying to beat traffic, and so on.
Again, you can’t control how other people choose to drive. However, being cautious on your own end can ensure you aren’t involved in a sideswipe accident. Be sure to use your turn signal any time that you’re merging into another lane.
Also, when you turn to look at your blind spot, make sure to look around ten yards behind you, not just in the spot you’re merging to. That way, you can see any reckless drivers approaching.
2. Resist the Urge to Speed
We get it. Sometimes, you’re running late for work and need to pick up the pace to get to work on time. But let us ask you this: is driving 10 mph over the speed limit really helping you if you get into an accident?
Speeding is one of the top reasons that sideswipe collisions, as well as all other car accidents, occur. Why? Because they reduce your reaction time.
Let’s say you’re going 10 to 15 mph over the speed limit because you don’t have any cars ahead of you in your lane. Then, a car in the other lane quickly merges into your lane without any warning (like using their turn signal).
Since they didn’t see you, they’ll begin to merge and possibly sideswipe your vehicle. Believe it or not, they might not be found as the guilty party in that situation.
Speeding can also cause you to lose control of the wheel, which may cause you to sideswipe the car next to you. All it takes is 1 or 2 seconds of no control to cause a car accident. Make sure that you aren’t driving any higher than 5 mph over the speed limit so that you can retain a good response time.
3. Remove Distractions
Unsurprisingly, many drivers on the road today are distracted. Distracted by the technology in their new car, distracted by the infotainment system, and—most of all—distracted by their smartphones.
It’s no wonder that the number of fatal car crashes increased last year. The rate of fatalities rose 24-percent last year alone, even with the reduced number of cars taking to the streets.
Even though we’re talking about sideswipe collisions, here, distracting yourself while driving can lead to much more severe (and fatal) car crash scenarios.
Again, you can’t control whether or not other drivers put their phones down. However, you can eliminate the distraction to ensure you stay alert on the road.
Also, know the signs of a distracted driver so that you can avoid driving beside them in the lane next to them. If they’re driving noticeably slow, swerving, or accelerating and decelerating, it’s a sign that they’re trying to text.
4. Avoid Intoxicated Drivers
We wish this wasn’t a tip that we had to put on this list. However, the number of intoxicated drivers on the roads today is too high to ignore.
All you can do is know the signs of an intoxicated driver, then avoid them. You might even slow down (while maintaining a safe speed) to ensure they don’t have a knee-jerk reaction that causes a sideswipe collision.
If you notice the driver is making jerky movements or is swerving a lot, then do all you can to avoid driving beside them. Keep a reasonable distance from them.
5. Don’t Engage in Road Rage
Make no mistake about it, road rage is a very real danger to everyone that hits the open road.
It’s unchecked anger that manifests itself into the driver making bad choices they wouldn’t make when in the right frame of mind. Some road ragers might even purposely cause a sideswipe out of frustration.
Whatever you do, do not engage. Keep your eyes on the road and the vehicles, not the people driving them. Even if you aren’t prone to road rage, it’s an easy trap to slip into if other drivers are trying to aggravate you.
Prevent Sideswipe Collisions With These Tips
Now that you have seen several useful tips for how to lessen the chances of sideswipe collisions in your life, be sure to use them effectively.
If you are in a car accident, be sure to read this article so that you know what to do after a car crash.
For more inquiries, please reach out to us and schedule a free consultation. We look forward to working with you.