Most of us know the dangers of reckless driving, but what about the risks of extreme caution?
While it might sound counterintuitive, driving too slowly or making an unexpected stop could be just as dangerous as exceeding the speed limit or not respecting another driver’s right of way.
Find out about the dangers of overly cautious driving and how to safely share the road with timid drivers. If an overly cautious driver caused a crash and your injuries, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your damages. Our Windsor-based car accident lawyers are here to assist you.
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What Is Overly Cautious Driving?
It is important to exercise an appropriate amount of caution when you are behind the wheel. The problem is some drivers display an unreasonable amount of caution. It almost seems like they are scared to be out on the road. Another way to say it is that they seem to hesitate for far too long before making decisions.
Here are some examples of overly cautious driving behaviors:
Driving Too Slowly
This is probably the most common form of overly cautious driving. While some drivers might be annoyed with other drivers who obey the speed limit, this is not overly cautious behavior.
Driving below the speed limit, particularly in certain situations, is overly cautious. For example, driving below the speed limit on an interstate can be incredibly dangerous. Other drivers will not be expecting it and this may increase the risk of a rear-end collision.
Driving too slowly can make it harder for trailing drivers to change lanes, as cars in the other lanes are traveling much faster. This could greatly increase the risk of a crash.
Sometimes drivers travel too slowly because they are scared, but other times they do so because they are unfamiliar with the area.
Suddenly Braking For No Reason
Drivers who are unsure about where they are going may be more likely to slow down or stop without warning. They are so focused on trying to figure out where they are going or not missing a turn that they drive much too slowly.
Other drivers are not expecting sudden stops like this, and they may be unable to avoid a rear-end crash. Other drivers may also be distracted, which increases the risk of a collision.
Unexpected braking is particularly dangerous inside a roundabout. Oncoming drivers do not expect this and they may not see a stopped car until it is too late.
Yielding When You Have the Right of Way
Many of us have been in situations where another driver has the right of way but he or she decides to wave at you to indicate they want you to proceed. The other driver thinks that he or she is just being nice. However, right of way laws exist for a reason, as violating them could make a crash more likely to occur.
Hesitating at Intersections
Some drivers may hesitate too long at a green light. Other drivers might hold up traffic while waiting to make a turn. This can be frustrating for trailing drivers, some of whom may experience road rage. Sometimes oncoming drivers are expecting cars to go, so they hit the gas. Unfortunately, the timid driver might not, and a crash may be unavoidable.
What Types of Drivers Tend To Be Too Cautious?
Some groups of drivers are more likely to be overly cautious, such as:
- Younger or newer drivers – Their extreme caution stems from a lack of experience. Merging with traffic, making turns and driving on high-speed roads can all be sources of stress for these drivers, leading to too much caution.
- Elderly drivers – Many of the overly cautious drivers you may have encountered were probably older. These drivers tend to have slower reaction times. That is why you often see elderly drivers leave one of their turn signals on while they continue going straight without turning. These drivers may also be visually impaired, so they take longer to make decisions.
- Rubberneckers – Drivers often slow down to look at something that is happening on the side of the road, such as a crash.
- Drivers who see police cars – Many drivers reflexively slow down when they see a police car. They do this even if they are not speeding or breaking any laws.
Can Overly Timid or Cautious Driving Be as Dangerous as Reckless Driving?
This is something that would need to be studied. However, it is safe to say overly timid drivers can create dangerous situations, just like reckless drivers can. If the timid driver used an appropriate amount of caution, there would be much less risk of a collision.
Sharing the Road With Drivers Who Are Being Too Careful
You may encounter an overly cautious driver at some point. That is why you need to know what to do if it happens.
- Pay attention – One of the best ways to lower your risk of a crash is to stay focused on driving. If you are paying attention, you are more likely to notice an overly cautious driver. That way you should have time to slow down and avoid this person.
- Be patient – Getting angry is not going to help anything. You are only going to make the situation worse. Anger might cause you to honk your horn and make the overly cautious driver even more scared.
- Use caution when trying to overtake a slower driver – If you are stuck behind an overly cautious driver who is going too slowly, take your time when trying to change lanes. You need to be patient and wait until it is safe to change lanes.
- Be cautious in areas frequented by tourists – If you are in a downtown area, be extra cautious. You should expect to encounter drivers who frequently stop or drive too slowly. If you expect it, you are more likely to react in time to avoid a collision.
Call To Talk About Potential Legal Options After a Crash
The legal process can feel overwhelming for those dealing with a significant injury that limits them physically. That is why you need an experienced legal professional to manage things on your behalf.
Greg Monforton and Partners has been working with vehicle accident victims for many years and we have a track record of success.
Call to learn about how we can help: