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Tips for Staying Safe on Nashville’s Highways and Interstates

Posted in Car Accident on May 13, 2018

Nashville is home to four major interstates: Interstates 24, 40, 65, and 440, as well as several major highways.

Thousands of drivers use the city’s interstates and highways everyday to get to and from work, and accidents and major traffic issues are a common occurrence on those busy roadways—especially as the area’s population increases.

fastest and At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident attorneys know that high-speed roadways are often the most convenient ways to get around the city and the mid-state area, but they also pose several dangers that aren’t as prevalent on other roads.

If you or someone you love was hurt in an auto or truck accident on a major thoroughfare in Nashville, you deserve experienced and dedicated legal representation. We know how to maximize our clients’ chances of getting full compensation, and we accomplish that by staying one step ahead of the insurance company at every turn. Call us today at (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form to get in touch with us.

5 Tips for Reducing Your Interstate and Highway Accident Risks

Although highways and interstates are relatively flat and straight compared to rural and city streets, the higher speed limits and heavier traffic densities can make them more dangerous—especially when crashes occur at high speeds.

In addition, accidents can happen quickly and with little time to prepare or react. The faster vehicles are traveling, the less time drivers have to slow down, stop, or swerve to avoid a collision. That means chain-reaction collisions and multi-car pileups are more common than on other roads.

You can make your daily highway or interstate commute safer by following these five important safety tips:

  • Don’t exceed the speed limit—The maximum speed limit on Middle Tennessee’s interstates is 70 miles per hour, but it can drop to 55 miles per hour in many places. In addition, active work zones can further reduce speed limits, with 40 miles per hour being a common speed limit when work crews are present.

    Reducing your speed helps you better stay within the flow of traffic and gives you more time to react to avoid a potential collision. However, you shouldn’t reduce your speed too much, as driving significantly below the speed limit is also dangerous. In fact, police may even ticket drivers who are traveling too slow—especially in the left lane. Cruise control can help you maintain a safe and steady speed, but it should be used cautiously, as it can make driving more dangerous in heavy traffic or during inclement weather.

  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely—Following too closely is one of the most common causes of accidents on all roads, but when it happens on high-speed highways and interstates, the consequences can be devastating. The chance of suffering serious injuries increases at higher speeds, and occupants of both vehicles involved in those types of collisions can sustain debilitating head, neck, and back injuries.

    Following the three-second rule can help you stay safe and establish a safe following distance. You can use it by waiting for the vehicle in front of you to pass a landmark or object, then counting the time it takes for your vehicle to pass the same area. If it takes less than three seconds, you may be following too closely and should reduce your speed until the distance between your vehicles increases.

  • Don’t drive while distracted—It’s easy to take your daily commute for granted. You’ve driven the same roads and taken the same exits thousands of times, and you feel like you can make the trip with your eyes closed. For some drivers, that creates the temptation to do other things while they’re behind the wheel, including texting, sending emails, eating, and even putting makeup on.

    It’s important to remember that driving is a highly complex task that requires your undivided attention, concentration, and focus. Even though you may know the route like the back of your hand, you’re driving near different vehicles and different drivers on every trip—and that creates unpredictability. Stay alert and keep your eyes, mind, and ears focused on the road and your surroundings.

  • Don’t drive while sleepy or fatigued—Getting a full eight hours of sleep every night isn’t just important for your health and well-being. It’s also important for your safety during your daily commute. When drivers are sleep-deprived, their risk of being involved in a crash increases significantly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one in 25 adult drivers admits to falling asleep behind the wheel during the past 30 days. Even “micro-sleeps,” which last for fractions of a second, are enough to cause accidents.

    If you feel yourself falling asleep or find it difficult to focus on the road due to exhaustion and fatigue, pull over to a safe location immediately and rest. Keep in mind that turning up the radio, consuming caffeine, or rolling down your windows are only temporary measures to increase your alertness.

  • Don’t take any risks during inclement weather—Anyone who has driven on Nashville’s highways and interstates during or after rain showers and snow storms knows that accidents are much more common in inclement weather. In addition to roadways becoming slicker, some drivers may be inexperienced or unfamiliar with the increased risks when roads are more hazardous. That can lead to more dangerous conditions for everyone.

    You can do your part in making Middle Tennessee’s roads safer during bad weather by reducing your speed, turning on your lights, and avoiding sudden movements, such as abrupt lane switches or slamming on your brakes. In addition, you should also increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, and you should pull over to the side of the road if it becomes difficult to see due to heavy rain or snowfall.

Other important tips to keep in mind include never passing vehicles without checking your mirrors and blind spots, leaving home early to give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination to reduce your temptation to speed, and staying out of semi-trucks’ “no zones,” which include the areas in front and behind their cabins and trailers, as well as the areas directly underneath their driver and passenger sides.

Hurt in a Crash that Wasn’t Your Fault? You Deserve Compensation.

Crashes on highways and interstates often result in serious injuries. And when hard-working people like you get hurt, they may face uphill battles just to meet their families’ daily needs. It’s especially devastating when victims require expensive medical treatments while being unable to return to work for the foreseeable future.

At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident attorneys know how disruptive auto accidents can be, and that’s why we do everything in our power to help victims get the money they deserve. We’ll calculate exactly how much the accident has cost you in terms of current and future medical bills and lost wages, and we’ll make sure the insurance company knows how much money you need for what you’ve experienced.

 

Call today—we’re here to help.