The New York Times’ Travel section has written about the Traffic Jam that Never Ends. Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka ranks 137th out of 140 cities for worst traffic on earth in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Survey.
In real terms, this means insanely dangerous roads where you must literally reach out of your window and touch the traffic, hand-checking other drivers’ vehicles to prevent accidents and contact. This world-class traffic is also an economic opportunity, and commuters are often descended upon by vendors selling water bottles, peeled cucumbers, and even books.
This is some extreme traffic. You should stop really complaining about the 405, even at 5PM.
Of course, drivers must also keep an eye for other types of dangers, including thieves who will slice through the canvas roofs of rickshaws in order to mug passengers.
It’s all enough to make me stop complaining about LA and OC traffic. Of course, our own roads are nothing to sneeze at. Forbes named the interchange of the 405 and 101 freeways its “King of Traffic Traps.” That interchange causes 27 million hours of traffic delays annually.
Defensive Driving Tips from an OC Car Accident Lawyer
More cars on the road means more opportunities to get involved in a car crash. Of course, the best way to avoid the time, injury, and headaches associated with a car accident is to avoid one in the first place. To help you do that, RMD Law LLP has compiled its list of 5 defensive driving techniques.
Defensive driving is NOT about improving your own driving. The reality is that most drivers are not very skilled, even though they may evaluate themselves highly. Rather, defensive driving means embracing the fact that pretty much everyone is a terrible driver and avoiding other vehicles in order to prevent collisions.
1. Scan the road ahead
The goal here is to see trouble coming down the road as early as possible. If traffic slows suddenly, you will see it and react in time to stop. In fact, many of the rear-end auto accident cases at RMD Law happen this way! Look as far forward as you can. Even if that is miles ahead!
This technique will even help you avoid that surfboard flying off the back of a pickup truck (that one actually happened to me in 2009).
2. Don’t follow too closely
This one is called the “three-second rule.” The goal is to give yourself three seconds to respond to trouble with the vehicle ahead of you. Here’s how you set it up. Identify a fixed object, such as a sign by the road. When the car in front of you passes it, begin counting. It should take three seconds at least for you to pass the sign. If it is less, you are putting yourself at risk of rear-ending the vehicle in front of you if they have to stop suddenly. Increase the distance generously in wet, foggy, icy, or snowy conditions.
3. Stop the distractions
Don’t text, talk on the phone, fiddle with the stereo, eat a hamburger, do your makeup, read a textbook, pet your dog, or do any of the other weird things you do behind the wheel.
Do not pet, no matter how cute she is and how badly she wants to be pet. You are driving.
4. Leave room to escape
This one is a big deal. You have no idea what other drivers are about to do, so you need a way to escape at all times. For example, don’t drive right next to another car. If they match your speed, you should either speed up or slow down to leave some room to the side. That way, if the car in front of you blows a tire, you’ll be able to change lanes and avoid the collision rather than slam into the vehicle next to you. Of course, swerving carries a risk of losing control, so it should really be your last escape. If you follow the three-second rule you will be able to stop in time to avoid the collision instead.
5. Yield anyway!
Is there some confusion about who has the right of way? Dispute at a stop sign? Did someone cut you off? Give them the benefit of the doubt and a wide berth. Nobody ever yielded themselves into a crash, rather, they do that by speeding, letting their attention lapse, and generally doing dumb things. Take it easy, relax, and you’ll be at your destination in no time at all.
Of course, some accidents can’t be avoided, no matter how defensively you drive. For those cases, you’ll want a good lawyer! If you’ve had an accident, call me anytime day or night at (949) 326-5000 and I’ll let you know what I think. Stay safe out there.