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Problems with Driving Too Slowly

Posted on January 30, 2017

While driving too fast can cause car accidents, so can driving too slowly.

In May, a pickup truck traveling on a Tulsa interstate was forced to slow down to avoid hitting a Nissan Maxima that was driving too slowly. A minivan crashed into the pickup, causing a semi-truck to swerve to avoid the accident. The driver of the semi was trapped in the truck for two hours while emergency personnel worked to get him out.

The Problem with Rubbernecking

A common cause of drivers slowing down is rubbernecking, a phenomenon where people slow down so they can see what’s going on. That often occurs when there has been a car accident. However, rubbernecking itself can be dangerous and lead to additional accidents.

In November, a semi-truck traveling on the interstate in Durant rear-ended a Ford-350 hauling a flatbed trailer. Both the semi and the trailer flipped onto their sides, seriously injuring the driver of the Ford-350.

An hour later, another semi-truck driver rear-ended a smaller car, pushing it into a different semi. A police officer investigating both incidents said that the traffic slowdown caused by the first accident — which he attributed to rubbernecking — was a factor in the second accident.

Passing Lane Only

Not only can driving too slowly cause accidents, but it can also prevent first responders from getting to the scene of an accident as quickly as they need to. That is one of the reasons Oklahoma passed a law in 2010 designating the left lane of four-lane highways as the passing lane. That gives emergency personnel the room they need to get to accident scenes quickly and safely.

Another reason for passing the law was to prevent slower drivers from planting themselves in the left lane, irritating other drivers and causing a traffic slowdown that might lead to accidents.

Types of Slow Drivers

Slow drivers typically fall into four categories. One category is the rubbernecker, or tourist, who slows down to check out an accident or a beautiful view. The other three categories are:

  1. Seniors — Older drivers often drive more slowly than younger adults, due to stiff joints, bad vision, or something similar.
  2. New drivers — A teenager learning to drive is more likely to drive slowly than older, more experienced drivers.
  3. Distracted drivers — People who drive while talking on the phone — or texting — are more likely to slow down and cause accidents.

Contact Our Office for Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a person driving too slowly, contact the law office of Charles Bryan Alred, P.C., today. We are prepared to help you recover compensation for your injuries.