how road safety is threatened by slow drivers

Slow drivers are not an unusual sight on the highways and local roads of Metro Detroit and throughout Michigan. Drivers who travel at well below the speed limit and hinder traffic may be subject to a violation.

That may come as a surprise to some people, but it makes sense, considering what a threat these drivers can be to road safety. Yet other drivers make mistakes or have careless habits on the road as well by tailgating and passing the slow drivers too impatiently. Therefore, safety advocates recommend three steps to those who are faced with a slow driver in front of them.

First, wait a minute to see if the slow driver will move out of the way. You want to give the driver some time to be able to correct their mistake and understand that they are holding up other traffic.

Second, flash the headlights very quickly. Be sure to give them well over 10 feet distance so they do not feel threatened.

Third, honk the horn in a couple of very short intervals. Again, the goal is not to startle the driver but to get them to understand that their slow speed is making it difficult for other drivers. If you do pass the slower driver, be sure to give the driver enough space if you merge back into their lane in front of him or her.

A significant portion of slow drivers are distracted by their phones. According to the National Safety Council, cell phones decrease parietal lobe activity by at least 37 percent. This part of the brain is crucial to making judgments based on sense perception. As we all know, making sound decisions when behind the wheel can be a major issue when someone is distracted in any way, much less by their phone.

Other factors may play a role in slow driving. For example, the driver may be a tourist soaking in the sights or a newly licensed driver nervous about going fast. Seniors may also travel slow for understandable reasons. For example, worsening vision can prevent one from seeing speed limits clearly, or arthritis may keep their foot from stepping more firmly on the accelerator.

Car accidents caused by slow motorists or aggressive drivers can form the basis for a personal injury claim. In Michigan, residents have three years from the date of a car accident to file a negligence lawsuit against the at-fault driver to sue for pain and suffering damages. The at-fault driver must be 50% or more at-fault. To recover these damages, you must show you suffered a “serious impairment of body function.”

If you have been injured because of another person’s slow or erratic driving, you want to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney who can help you determine what your next steps should be. The professionals at Bashore Green Law can negotiate and communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, and help you get the compensation you deserve following an accident and any related injuries.

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