Car accidents happen, and they are always inconveniences. Along with the possibility of injury and the issue with the inconvenience, cars that have been hit are never quite the same. One common type of car accident is a sideswipe, and there are several reasons why they occur.

Instead of having accidents caused by blind spots, there are several things you can do to stay safe and not get in sideswipe accidents with cars next to you. If you are a victim of a side swipe, car accident lawyers who have helped over 6000 clients can help you, too.

Eight Causes of Side Swipes

1. Texting while driving

Anytime that drivers use their phones, they take their eyes off of the road. This sets them up for accidents, especially side swipes because their cars move without their knowledge.

2. Eating while driving

Like texting while driving, when people eat while driving, they tend to take their eyes off of the road. They might enter an occupied lane while reaching for food next to them.

3. Grooming while driving

This is another cause of people taking their eyes off of the road. Many people use their rear-view mirrors to apply makeup, so their eyes are looking up rather than looking at the road.

4. Not checking the blind spot while changing lanes

Some people just look in their mirrors before they change lanes. Most vehicles have a blind spot and not checking it can be dangerous. Always look in the blind spots before changing lanes to avoid a side swipe.

5. Falling asleep at the wheel

If you are tired, pull over. Do not drive. Research shows that driving while tired is just as dangerous as drunk driving.

6. Drunk driving

People who drive drunk have difficulty staying in lanes, so sideswipes happen. If you are drinking, you should not drive. Call a cab or a sober friend.

7. Merging without yielding

Before merging, you should always check the lane so you do not sideswipe a car in the lane you need to enter. Not everyone moves out of the way at an on-ramp, so as the merging vehicle, you must protect your safety.

8. Road rage

People who are angry often do foolish things when they aren’t thinking. If someone with road rage engages you, it is in your best interest to let them pass you and not engage with them.

Five Tips for Staying Safe

1. Don’t use your phone while driving

Your phone can wait. But, if you must use it, pull over in a safe place, like a store parking lot, to answer it or reply to a text.

2. Only change lanes when necessary

If you don’t have to change lanes, don’t. If you don’t change lanes, then you reduce the chance of sideswiping a car that is in that lane.

3. Check your mirrors and blindspots before changing lanes

Check twice – or more – before you change lanes.

4. Signal before changing lanes

It is helpful for other drivers to know what you are planning to do. Other drivers appreciate seeing turn signals so they are not surprised by what you do.

5. Do not drive when tired or intoxicated

To protect your life and the lives of other people on the road, do not drive while drunk or tired.

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