There are statistics for just about everything you can think of so I looked into what is the statistically safest lane to drive in based on number of car accidents and severity of car accidents. As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I thought this knowledge would be useful to anyone that is driving to figure out how to avoid car accidents, as much as possible.
The study I found came from statistics from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. The safest lane to drive in based on number of car accidents is the far left lane, the fast lane.
The lane with the most accidents was the far right lane with 40% of the car accidents, second was the middle with about 38%, and third was the far left lane with 22% of car accidents. Driving in the far left lane you were nearly twice as unlikely to be in a car accident versus the far right lane.
The reasoning behind the statistics is that the far right lane has merging traffic, both people trying to exit the Freeway and enter the Freeway. Additionally, many semi trucks drive in the far right lane that can block view of aggressive drivers and take up a lot of space leaving less room for merging traffic.
However, the statistics also showed that people were much more likely to be involved in serious collisions in the far left lane than any other lane of traffic. The reasoning behind this is that in general traffic in the far left lane travels at a much higher speed than other lanes. High speed is attributable to greater injury cases versus lower speeds.
The general consensus based on this information is that there is generally no safe lane to drive in. In an essence you are left to pick your poison – do you want to drive in a lane that you are much more likely to be involved in a car accident or would you rather drive in a lane you are much more likely to be severely injured in?
Defensive driving is one of the best ways to prevent a car accident. Here are a few driving tips:
- Don’t drive late at night on the weekends if you can avoid it – there are lots of drunk drivers on the road at this time.
- Drive at a slow and safe speed – at the speed limit or just below.
- Pay attention to drivers around you – if they are swerving, driving fast, or driving erratic, stay away from them as much as possible and do not engage with them.
- Pay attention to the road and your mirrors as much as possible – don’t get distracted by mobile devices or loud passengers, just focus on the road.
- Don’t change lanes a lot to get ahead of traffic – many drivers swerve in and out of lane in order to be first in line or get to places faster but merging lanes cause more car accidents by not seeing other cars.