The One Thing You Must Do Before Changing Lanes

Driver looking over shoulder

Have you ever had your turn signal on to change lanes, checked your mirrors, but hear someone laying on the horn as soon as you veer toward the white line? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, a fair number of crashes are caused by drivers who forget to do one essential thing before changing lanes: looking over their shoulder.

Your Blind Spots and You

Many drivers don’t realize that even small cars have blind spots, areas around the vehicle where your mirrors cannot see. For most mid-sized vehicles, this is behind and to the right of the passenger’s seat. There’s a simple explanation for this.

Your passenger’s-side mirror is convex, like a bubble. It produces a distorted image, which is why it has a warning that reads “Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear.” Another consequence of that shape is that it prevents you from seeing a car that is directly beside you. You can sometimes see this for yourself if a car is passing you on the right side; they will seem to disappear from your mirrors for a moment until they start to pass you.

Because your mirrors cannot see a car in your blind spot, it’s wise to look over your shoulder and check for cars alongside you before changing lanes. If you get into the habit of doing this every time you change lanes, you could prevent a potentially serious crash.

It’s Not Unusual

Drivers hitting cars in their blind spots is a huge problem. It’s estimated that roughly 1-in-10 car crashes (600,000 per year) occur when a driver changes lanes. By remaining aware of your blind spots and practicing safe lane-changing techniques before you move into the other lane, we can potentially prevent these crashes and save lives.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a car accident, we’re ready to be the experience on your side. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Dayton car accident attorney from The Attkisson Law Firm, please send us an email or call (937) 230-8330.

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