Traveling on the highway can be scary, especially during busy times like rush hour. While on the highway, you might have wondered which lane will be the safest to drive in. Sometimes it seems like cars are zooming past you in all lanes and none of the lanes are safe. Traffic accidents can happen any time in any lane, so is there a safe spot? Lucky for you, car accident lawyers here at Robert J. DeBry and Associates have found some research on the matter.
According to the data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the left lane is surprisingly the safest lane to drive in. The reason this is so surprising is that the left lane is known as both the fast lane and the passing lane, meaning that drivers traveling at higher and more dangerous speeds than other cars on the road. Faster drivers like to drive in the left lane so they don’t have to worry about getting stuck behind slower drivers.
Out of the 100,000 accident reports collected, 8,069 of them were on a three-lane highway. Of those, 50 percent of them cited a specific lane: 22 percent of them were in the left lane, 38 percent of them were in the middle lane, and 40 percent of them were in the right lane.
Why is the right lane — the slowest lane — where most accidents occur? Personal injury lawyers figured it is because the right lane is typically where cars are entering and exiting the highway. The far right lanes can get a little chaotic, which is ironic because they are slower moving. Not to mention, because that lane is slower paced, a lot of people like to sit back and relax but maybe a little too much. Whether it is the fault of drivers that are too relaxed or impatient drivers that are trying to move over to the faster lanes, accidents tend to happen most in the lanes more to the right.
How to Prevent Accidents
Now that we know the left lane is the lane with the least amount of accidents, it doesn’t mean that driving in the left lane is completely safe. Car accident lawyers handle car accident cases from any traffic lane. There are always risks when it comes to driving, but those risks increase when traveling on the highway.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 30% of fatal crashes are because of excessive speeding. It can be easy for you to follow the speed limit, but what about the other drivers around you? Is it possible to avoid getting in an accident caused by another driver? Here are a few tips to follow that our car accident lawyers recommend following.
- Pay close attention to the road and avoid distractions (i.e. GPS/phone use, eating or playing with the radio).
- Keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
- Try moving to another lane if you notice someone tailgating you.
- Use your mirrors effectively to keep an eye on all the cars around you.
- Make sure you are driving properly and keeping yourself visible — this includes using your turn signal and making sure your lights are on when it gets dark.
- Don’t speed — if you need to speed up, don’t exceed 5-10 miles over the speed limit.
- Try to limit merging into other lanes as much as possible.
- If highway traffic is too busy or dangerous, find another route to your destination.
By being a cautious driver, not only are you keeping yourself safe, but you are protecting the safety of drivers around you. If you or someone you know has been in a recent car accident, be sure to call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Personal injury lawyers here at Robert J. DeBry and Associates handle many car accident cases and will be happy to help you. Contact them today to get started on your claim.