Originally published December 15, 2021.
As a motorist, you’re responsible for driving safely and avoiding accidents. Under normal driving conditions, and if all drivers on the road are driving carefully and obeying traffic laws, that might not be too difficult.
Unfortunately, some accidents are caused by unforeseen circumstances and negligent drivers. To help you avoid an accident while driving, we would like to offer tips for dealing with three common problems you may encounter while driving.
Traffic Light Out
Most drivers will, at some point, encounter a traffic light that’s not working correctly. If police officers or other authorized personnel are directing traffic, do as they tell you. If temporary stop signs have been put in place, obey those.
If neither of these things has happened, as is often the case, page 29 of the Oklahoma Driver Manual says you should treat the intersection as though everyone has a stop sign. Wait your turn, and proceed cautiously. This will help to prevent accidents.
Flat Tire on the Freeway
It’s important to remain calm if you experience a flat tire while driving. Don’t slam on your brakes or jerk the steering wheel to correct your vehicle’s direction if the flat tire pulls you off course. Instead, slow down and begin looking for a safe place to pull over.
When possible, take the next exit and park your vehicle in a parking lot if you experience a flat tire while driving on the freeway. When that is not possible, steer your vehicle to the side of the road and park as far off the roadway as possible.
Turn on your emergency flashers. Because traffic is going by so quickly, for your own safety, it is best to stay in your vehicle rather than try to get out and fix or replace the tire. Call for a tow truck or highway assistance, or wait for the appropriate authorities to arrive.
Debris in the Road
Debris in the road can cause problems ranging from tire and suspension damage to serious injuries to you and your passengers. When you encounter debris in the road, you may be able to avoid it—or you may have no choice but to drive into or over it.
Safely driving around debris only works if you can see it from enough distance to avoid hitting or running over it without jerking your steering wheel and suddenly swerving into another lane. If you see the debris from a safe distance, switch lanes or otherwise drive around it when it is safe to do so.
If you don’t see the debris until it is right in front of your vehicle and you are faced with the option of running over the debris or hitting another vehicle, go for the debris. Slow down as much as possible, and avoid puncturing your tires when possible. If you hit the debris, particularly if you think it may have damaged your vehicle, pull off the road at a safe location and check for any damage.
Call Our Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyers After an Accident
Driving is something we take for granted, but there are so many ways that driving to work or running errands can end badly if you aren’t prepared for common roadway dangers. In addition to the three problems listed in this blog, all drivers in Oklahoma also face the risk of being injured by people who don’t take safety seriously while they’re behind the wheel.
If you were injured in an automobile accident caused by another driver, the Oklahoma auto accident attorneys at Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers can help you. To learn more, contact us today for a free case review.