cars driving on a highwayReckless and careless driving on I-81 and I-66 in Northern Virginia can cause devastating crashes that leave victims seriously injured. If you were obeying the speed limit and driving cautiously when another driver's actions caused a crash, you might be able to hold them liable for the losses you have suffered. What kinds of highway driving behaviors could be considered negligent? We take a look at some common dangerous driving habits that are often the root cause of highway crashes.

Negligent Highway Driving in Virginia

We've all seen those drivers who weave in and out of traffic as they completely ignore the posted speed limit. Clearly, that kind of driving is dangerous and puts others at risk. However, more common actions that often lead to highway accidents include:

  • Drowsy drivingDriving while fatigued is dangerous because tired drivers are less alert to changes in traffic patterns and speeds and are at risk of nodding off completely. It is not only long-distance drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. In fact, commuters are more likely to be overtired when driving to or from work than someone on a long road trip.
  • Distracted driving. Using a cell phone, talking to passengers, fiddling with the GPS, eating and drinking, and daydreaming are major distractions that prevent drivers from reacting in a timely matter to sudden stops, merging traffic, debris in the road, and more.
  • Following too closely. If you are driving too close to the car in front of you, you will not have enough time to stop if something happens ahead of them. Aggressively tailgating another driver to get them to change lanes is a dangerous game that could cause a highway pile-up.
  • Cruising in a truck's blind spot. We share our highways with commercial semi-trucks and we need to know how to drive safely around them. Sitting in a truck's blind spot is a recipe for disaster. The truck driver has no idea you are there and could change lanes right into you.
  • Inconsistant speed. If everyone set their cruise control at a reasonable speed and kept it there, the highways would be much safer. Continuously speeding up and slowing down impedes the flow of traffic and can lead to a crash.

If a driver is taking these kinds of risks and caused a crash, other drivers injured in the crash should be able to hold that driver accountable for their actions.

What Highway Drivers Should Do

While you can never fully account for the negligence of other drivers, you can take action to increase your own driving safety when traveling on Northern Virginia highways. We’re sharing these six tips to help keep you and your family stay safe when driving on I-66 or I-81:

  1. Keep a safe following distance. Allow for plenty of room between you and the car ahead in case you need to make an abrupt stop or maneuver.
  2. Follow the speed limit. Excessive speeds can decrease the time you have to react to road hazards such as other vehicles, debris, and poor weather conditions. 
  3. Know your route. If you’re driving in an unfamiliar area check out the map first to learn where your highway exits will be and which routes to take. Better yet, use a GPS with voice directions to keep your attention on the road!
  4. Do a safety check before travel. Is your car in good shape for a trip? How does the weather look along your route? Making sure that driving conditions are good both inside and outside your car can help you avoid hazards.
  5. Use turn signals and know your blind spots. Proper signaling isn’t only part of driving law, it’s also one of the best ways to avoid striking another vehicle. Especially if you’re driving an unfamiliar vehicle such as a rental car, make sure you know where your blind spots are to avoid collisions from lane changes.
  6. Account for others’ negligence. Not everyone will be a cautious and courteous driver like yourself. Be aware that there are plenty of negligent drivers on Northern Virginia highways and drive defensively.

We hope that by practicing safe driving tips such as these you can avoid becoming the victim of an auto accident on the highway. If you do suffer serious injury from the negligence of another driver remember that our attorneys are here to help and we are just a phone call away!

We Help With Auto Accident Claims in Front Royal

If you are the victim of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, whether in a auto accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas is a Front Royal law firm with attorneys available to help those who have been involved in a Northern Virginia car accident and suffered serious injury. Call 1-540-636-7100 or fill out our contact form to speak with an experienced lawyer today about your personal injury claim.

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Working with Andrew and his team has been--without exception--one of the most pleasant, productive, and professional experiences of my adult life. I was seriously injured in an accident in July, 2018, in Virginia. I was driving a company vehicle that was registered in Maryland, for a company that was based in Wisconsin. And I live in New Jersey, where my personal vehicles are insured. The several jurisdictions involved presented a very unique case that demanded an experienced and nuanced strategy. I found Andrew Thomas (of Dulaney, Lauer, & Thomas) through some online research. And it is noteworthy that Andrew has worked the other side of the aisle--he used to work with insurance companies. Andrew took on my case with the assurance that he would work it with no less energy than he does each of his cases. At each turn, and with each question I had, Andrew and Paralegal Misty kept me informed, returned my calls, provided detailed explanations, and kept me feeling like I was in the loop and there was an eventual end to our journey. Nearly five years after the accident, we settled out of court for a significant sum in recognition of my personal injuries. The settlement was much more than I had expected. And without Andrew & Misty, I am sure the award would have been much less. If you are looking for professionalism, knowledge, dedication, answerability, responsiveness, integrity, and human-level communication from a personal injury attorney--look no further. You have found him. Thank you, Andrew and Misty. Gary Daley
I'm grateful for all your work . . . Roger V. (Remington, VA)
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