You Won’t Get There Faster by Changing Lanes During a South Florida Commute

Nov 14, 2011 Posted by in Motor Vehicle Accidents and Safety

Because of congestion and traffic delays, residents of South Florida and the Treasure Coast spend an extra 38 hours per year commuting to and from work. It is easy to see why careless driving, speeding, failure to yield the right-of-way and ignoring traffic signals are among the top reasons for accidents in Florida.

Hoping to get to their destination on time, drivers jockey for the fastest lane and rush to get in front of other drivers. But does this constant lane changing and aggressive driving get them there any faster?

According to an article in the Sun-Sentinel, no.The article cites a study conducted by the University of Toronto where two researchers found that over an 80-minute drive, someone who constantly changes lanes will only gain four minutes. Further, changing lanes increases the chances of a collision about threefold.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identifies unsafe lane changing as well as weaving, tailgating and speeding as aggressive driving behaviors.Each of these behaviors becomes more pronounced during bumper-to-bumper traffic when everyone is trying to beat the clock and get to work on time.

However, Donald Redelmeier and Robert Tibshirani, lead researchers in the University of Toronto study, found that although it appears cars in the other lanes are moving faster, it is really just an optical illusion. Students were shown a film of one car moving faster than cars in the other lanes, yet close to 75% of the students thought the other lanes were moving faster. Almost two-thirds said they would change lanes in that scenario.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that aggressive driving is a factor in 56% of fatal car crashes nationwide.In Florida, improper lane changing or failure to keep in the proper lane resulted in 24 fatal accidents and 3,765 injuries in 2010, according to Florida’s 2010 Traffic Crash Statistics.The Sun-Sentinel reports the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles identified 54,277 citations for improper lane changing in Florida in 2010.

I-95 is the major freeway in South Florida, and as with all interstates and freeways, AAA says driving on these highways requires unique abilities. In the brochure “Freeway Driving Demands Special Skills,” AAA dedicates several sections to proper lane changing and maintaining safe travel speeds.

AAA offers the following safety tips when driving in congestion on freeways:

  • Avoid any sudden moves.
  • Drive in the lane that is best suited to the traffic conditions — on a freeway that is typically the center lane.
  • Do not be distracted or slow down excessively to look at incidents in or near the roadway.
  • Always signal at least five seconds before changing lanes.
  • Before changing lanes check your mirrors and check your blind spot by looking over your shoulder, then change lanes only when you are sure it is safe.

It is doubtful that the commute time in the Treasure Coast is going to get shorter any time soon, but all drivers can do their part to make sure their daily travels remain safe.Our Florida car accident lawyers encourage everyone traveling I-95, or any busy highway, to be patient and to realize that driving aggressively in congestion will not get you to work any faster – and it could result in a serious accident.

Turn To An Experienced Florida Accident Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured in a Florida traffic accident caused by an unsafe driver, contact an aggressive car accident attorney who has helped many injury victims recover from a serious automobile accident. I am attorney Philip DeBerard. I have more than three decades of legal experience representing people injured in car accidents and other personal injury claims.

At the law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, we pride ourselves on providing one-on-one attention to people across South Florida and the Treasure Coast. Our law firm represents victims of drunk driver accidents across South Florida, including StuartPort St. LucieOkeechobeeFort PierceJupiter, Palm Beach and Vero Beach and throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast.

Call 1-800-299-8878 now to speak with a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney or fill out our online contact form.

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