You are on your way home from work, and traffic just couldn’t be any worse. You flip through the radio stations to help make the drive home a little more enjoyable, and when you look up, you have to slam on the brakes because you missed the cues of slowing ahead. You mutter, “Thank goodness” when you realize that you actually didn’t hit the car ahead of you or cause someone behind you to rear end your vehicle.
The scenario above is a near-miss accident. These are sobering incidents that cause you to drive a little more alert throughout the rest of your trip. Sometimes this moment carries over to other trips after the close call.
Your near-miss car accidents around the Mesa, AZ area are a great instructional tool to help you correct bad driving habits. Here are some useful lessons you can learn from different close calls of car accidents around the East Valley.
Almost Clipped a Car Merging Lanes
Whenever merging on or off a highway, do a double check on your blind spot to ensure there is not a vehicle in your way. Practicing this good driving habit can help you and others prevent car accidents and further traffic build-up.
Making Hasty Left-Hand Turns
In 2015, there were more than 15,000 left-hand turn accidents, making up 15 percent of all accidents for the entire year (Arizona Department of Transportation). Drivers turning left face the most risk of a potential accident due to having to cross an intersection against potential oncoming traffic. If you make the decision to turn when a car is traveling too fast in the opposing lane, they could clip, or worse, t-bone your vehicle, increasing your propensity for severe car accident injuries. If this should ever happen, protect your driving rights by getting in touch with a Mesa car accident lawyer, no matter who is at fault for the left-hand turn accident.
The pressure can be intense to turn left when you see several cars behind you, even honking at you. It’s better to wait out oncoming traffic if you have any doubts about making it across, even if it means having those behind you wait for the next light to turn. The best time to turn left is when you have a green arrow. Never go into the intersection if your lane is arrow-only for left-hand drivers.
Making an Inappropriate U-Turn
Even with the best of GPS navigation systems, you may often find yourself needing to do a u-turn to get to your destination. If you must do a u-turn, provide yourself enough space and time to make the turn without delaying traffic. Turning too soon can result in a rear-end accident by opposing traffic.
Many traffic lights prohibit u-turns. Do a check to see if there is a sign with a “U” with a line through it. If one is present, plan to only do a left-hand turn and turn around somewhere else.
If you need to do a u-turn on a street and not at a light, wait until opposing traffic is far enough away to allow you to do the turn in enough time as well as catch up to adequate speed before those cars are close to your vehicle. Many times, you have enough time to do the turn but not enough time to be at the right acceleration speed.
Almost Hit a Child, Cat, Dog, or Bird
Residential streets are often a quiet environment with fewer driving hazards, but there are those rare occasions where unexpected hazards show up. If you are not careful, you could potentially back up into a child, cat or dog. They can also run out from behind parked vehicles, forcing you to slam on your brakes if you aren’t going slow enough.
Always be cautious when driving in neighborhoods. Never go “flying” through the neighborhood. Measures to counter speeding in residential areas include speed bumps, hidden cop cameras and active neighborhood watches.
Other notable near-miss car accidents you may experience throughout Mesa, AZ include situations as a direct effect of texting or talking while driving or being too focused on in-car conversations with your passengers. Some drivers may also miss exits or turns due to vision glare or blurriness and neglect to practice safe driving on wet roads.
Always make focusing on the road your main priority when driving. Replace old windshield wipers and clean your windows on the inside to improve visibility. If you think your vision is the problem, get your eyes checked and invest in a pair of sunglasses for days when there is a lot of sun glare.
If you are in need of a car accident lawyer in or around Mesa, AZ, get in touch with Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC. We understand the effects of a car accident can be detrimental to you life and are here to help. We work on many auto accident cases throughout the Valley of the Sun and will meet with you for free for your first visit. We have more than 50 years’ experience representing car accident victims throughout the Valley, and we know we can provide you the best legal advice for your injuries and injury case. Reach out to us on Facebook or on our contact form!