You hear about the dangers of road rage all the time—aggressive tailgating, harassing other drivers, and unnecessary speeding. But you don’t hear about the extreme opposite of road rage too often. You might think that the opposite of road rage is good driving, but it’s actually timid driving, which even can be just as dangerous as aggressive driving.
They say that “hesitation will get you killed,” and with timid drivers, that’s sometimes true. At severe levels, the more passive a driver is, the more likely they are to get into an accident. You might think that passive drivers are more safety conscious, but hesitating too much and not making decisions quickly enough behind the wheel can have adverse effects. Keep reading to find out what timid drivers often do and how to drive around them.
Timid Drivers Are Dangerous
You’ve probably seen a timid driver on the road before. As the opposite of drivers with road rage, timid or passive drivers will be overly cautious to the point where it disrupts traffic. Some of the ways a driver can be too passive are:
- Braking on a clear road. When you see another driver braking, you assume there is an obstruction in the road, or that traffic is causing them to slow down. Timid drivers sometimes brake for nothing on a clear road, which creates traffic jams, and can sometimes cause accidents.
- Driving considerably below the speed limit. Many drivers believe that driving below the speed limit is safer but driving too far below the speed limit is also considered reckless driving and you can get a ticket for it. Though it’s not posted, the minimum speed limit in Mississippi is 30 mph on designated highways and 40 mph on interstate highways where the maximum speed limit is 70 mph. Other drivers expect you to be going the posted speed limit, which is the speed you should strive for.
- Waving you into an intersection assuming that others will follow suit. The problem with that is that driver waving you can’t control other drivers. For example, if you’re turning into two lanes of standstill traffic and a driver waves you into the far lane from the closer lane, but the driver in the far lane doesn’t know you’re turning into their lane, you could get into an accident.
- Stopping in a roundabout. Roundabouts are intended to keep traffic flowing at an intersection, so when a driver stops in a roundabout, they can cause an accident because other drivers are keeping an even speed throughout the traffic circle. It’s okay to slow down and yield to a car entering the circle, but you should never stop unless there is an emergency.
- Yielding when the other lane is supposed to yield. If a passive driver allows you into their lane when you are supposed to yield to them, it can cause an accident. Although it might seem nice of them, it disrupts the flow of traffic.
The rules of the road are there for a reason—to keep everyone safe. When drivers choose to be overly considerate rather than follow the understood rules, that’s when accidents happen. If you’ve been in an auto wreck caused by an overly timid driver, then one of our lawyers in Jackson may be able to help you. But first, let’s look at how you can handle being on the road with passive drivers.
How to Drive Around Timid Drivers
Just like reckless drivers, sometimes you’re unable to avoid timid drivers on the road. There are some tactics you can use to navigate around them, though, and try to avoid getting into an accident. One way is to give them plenty of space. You don’t know when they’ll brake, so giving passive drivers room on the road ensures that you’ll have enough time to stop if you need to.
Another tactic is if they’re waving you to go, fully examine the situation before continuing into an intersection. It’s important to remember that they can only control how they drive—they can’t control other drivers. So if they’re telling you you’re okay to pull into an intersection, investigate yourself before making a decision.
Finally, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm. Experiencing a timid driver on the road can be frustrating, but if you become aggressive as a result, then the situation becomes even more dangerous.
Contact a Jackson Car Accident Lawyer
A car wreck can cause you a lot of trouble physically, emotionally, and financially. At Pittman, Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, our car accident lawyers are dedicated to helping you gain peace of mind in your legal case. Contact our office today so we can talk about how we can help you and your family with your car accident claim.
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