Our vibrant city of Savannah attracts visitors from all around the world. With Interstate Route-95 passing through the heart of our city, our tourist economy bustles with travelers either fleeing the cold northern winters or enjoying our beautiful summer weather. Having such an attractive town does carry hazards, though. As a destination city, vacationers and locals contribute to traffic, and where there is traffic there will be dangerous drivers.
Whether you are one of the nearly 150,000 local residents or one of the 14.8 million annual tourists exploring Savannah, being able to spot hazardous drivers will increase your safety on the road. While there are many circumstances that can result in a car accident, you should know the warning signs for the three most common dangerous drivers
Distracted driving has emerged as a significant concern in recent years, leading to severe accidents with devastating consequences. It is crucial to remain vigilant and identify drivers who exhibit signs of distraction, such as using their cell phones, eating, applying makeup, or engaging in intense conversations while behind the wheel.
While we consider distracted driving to be an issue with just the younger generation, that is not completely true. The issue of distracted driving is not limited to a specific age group, as both young and older drivers contribute to this problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the visible manipulation of handheld devices has more than doubled since 2012. In the age bracket of 16-24, there has been an alarming rise in driver handheld cellphone use, from 2.6% in 2020 to 3.7% in 2021. Similarly, drivers aged 25-69 showed an increase in driver handheld cellphone manipulation, from 2.8% in 2020 to 3.4% in 2021. These statistics highlight the pressing need for greater awareness and education regarding the dangers of distracted driving.
The NHTSA reports that distracted driving caused a staggering 3,142 deaths in 2020 alone, and over 29,000 deaths between 2012 and 2020. These numbers should serve as a warning to all drivers to not only keep their attention on the road, but to also be more aware of the drivers around them.
Aggressive driving behavior
Similarly to distracted drivers, aggressive drivers are easy to identify on the road. Key indicators of aggressive driving behaviors include dangerous maneuvers such as excessive speeding, tailgating, frequent lane changes without signaling, or running red lights. These reckless actions endanger not only their lives but also those of other Savannah road users.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety there are three simple steps to protect yourself and your family from aggressive drivers:
- Stay calm and avoid provocation: Maintaining composure and refraining from provoking the aggressive driver is key. Avoid making offensive gestures or expressing irritation, such as throwing your hands in the air as a reaction to being cut-off, because these actions can incite the aggressive driver to target you. Keep your hands on the steering wheel and remain neutral. By avoiding behaviors that can fuel anger in others, you reduce the chances of escalating the situation.
- Practice defensive and courteous driving: Adopting defensive and considerate driving habits significantly reduces the likelihood of encountering aggression. Use your turn signals when changing lanes or merging and signal well in advance. Avoid driving slowly in the left lane and promptly move over for faster drivers. Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you. Following the rules of the road reduces the chances of being involved in any accident.
- Steer clear and seek help if necessary: Prioritize your safety by distancing yourself from visibly aggressive drivers. Give them space and avoid engaging with them. If you feel threatened or are being followed, do not attempt to resolve the conflict personally. Instead, drive to a public place with people around, such as a police station, shopping center, or hospital. Call the police for assistance and use your horn to attract attention if necessary, but never leave your vehicle.
By following these three steps, you can better protect yourself and your loved ones from aggressive drivers.
Intoxicated, impaired or drowsy driving
Impaired driving, whether due to alcohol, drugs, prescription medications, or drowsiness poses a significant risk on the road. Look for signs such as erratic driving patterns, swerving between lanes, abrupt acceleration or deceleration, and delayed responses to traffic signals. If you suspect a driver to be under the influence, maintain a safe distance and report them to the authorities immediately. If you are driving late at night after the bars close, be cautious on the road. According to the University of Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center there is a heightened likelihood of impaired driving between the hours of midnight and 3:00 am.
With a major highway or Interstate 95 running through Savannah, the risk of drowsy travelers passing through is also heightened. The NHTSA also reported a staggering 91,000 drowsy driving accidents in 2017 alone. Drowsy driving is especially prevalent in the truck driving community, given their incentive to deliver their cargo on time. Truck accidents can be very serious, so exercise special caution around these big rigs.
When driving our Savannah roads, remember that as a tourist hub there will be drivers who are unfamiliar with our roadways, who are driving after experiencing the nightlife, or who are undergoing stresses that manifest themselves in dangerous driving. The above-listed accident types happen every day and each of these behaviors demonstrate fault. Hire trusted and experienced car, truck or motorcycle accident lawyers from Harris Lowry Manton LLP to protect your rights. Read our testimonials to see how we have helped your Savannah neighbors after their accident.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle accident with a dangerous driver, do not take any chances. Trust the experienced personal injury and accident attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP. Call or contact us today at our convenient Savannah office for your consultation.
Jed Manton is committed to representing individuals and business that have been harmed by the actions of others. With a solid track record, Jed has helped numerous clients who have been seriously injured or who have lost a loved one obtain justice, while holding the wrongdoer accountable.
Read more about Jed D. Manton here.