Texting and Driving: What happens when a vehicle comes in your lane.
January 20, 2012
You can read about it several times a week; a driver who is either texting, using a cell phone, or engaged in some other form of distracted driving, drifts over into the oncoming lane causing a crash. This type of crash is becoming all too common and unfortunately, death is often the result. Head-on crashes are the worst type of crash with the greatest potential for serious injuries and death. However, a driver in your lane doesn’t automatically have to result in a head-on crash if you are prepared.
To be prepared for the unexpected drivers should always use the S.I.P.D.E method of defensive driving. That is:
- Search the driving scene – Always be aware of what is happening in front of you, to the sides, and behind.
- Identify hazards – Be on the lookout for anything that could be a potential hazard whether that be a driver about to pull out of a parking lot or a driver ahead who is obviously distracted and isn’t looking at the roadway.
- Predict what may happen – When trying to predict what the other driver might do, in order to best prepare yourself, always predict the worst thing that could possibly happen.
- Decide what you will do – Having a decision already in mind if that other driver should do the worst will allow you additional precious time to escape a collision situation.
- Execute your decision – If the worst thing happens, you will have to put your plan into action in order to escape a collision.
Note: Sometimes you may not be able to completely escape a collision, when planning and executing your decision, you may have to choose to lessen the crash forces rather than escape a crash altogether.
If a driver ahead should suddenly swerve into your lane, you may have very few choices but, to avoid or reduce the severity of the crash, follow these tips:
- Honk your horn to alert the other driver.
- Don’t try to swerve to the left into his lane to avoid a crash, he may realize what he is doing and try to swerve back into his lane at the same time.
- Rather than face a head-on crash, it is better to go off the road to the right. There may be hazards there too so steer to avoid them and try to quickly slow to a stop. It is better to go into some bushes than to crash into something hard.
- Sometimes you may face the very tough choice of hitting a car on the right to avoid a head-on crash. Hitting a vehicle that is going in the same direction as you, while still very serious, is often safer than facing a head-on crash.