Most people picture an angry person weaving in and out of traffic when they think of a dangerous driver. Few people ever think about what dangers timid drivers pose on the road. Someone who is afraid of other vehicles could be just as likely to cause an accident as someone who is speeding or weaving in and out of traffic.
Below, we discuss what makes timid drivers so dangerous and how your response and the response of others on the road could make the situation better or worse.
If you were injured in a crash caused by someone else’s negligent actions, call our South Bend auto accident attorneys today to discuss your claim. The consultation is free and there are no upfront fees.
What Are the Different Types of Timid Drivers?
Being cautious behind the wheel is generally encouraged. That is until cautiousness goes to an extreme and the driver becomes timid, or afraid of other vehicles on the road. Some drivers may be timid every time they get behind the wheel, such as:
- Newly licensed drivers – These drivers lack experience and may suffer higher levels of anxiety when switching lanes or trying to cross an intersection where oncoming traffic does not stop.
- Elderly drivers – Vision or hearing impairment can easily make someone feel more anxiety behind the wheel.
Some drivers may only become timid in certain scenarios, such as:
- Under inclement weather – Drivers have a duty to be more cautious under certain weather conditions, like when the roads are wet and visibility is low. However, extreme cautiousness under a light drizzle could be considered timid driving, and it could pose a risk to others.
- When transporting cargo – Like during certain weather conditions, it is generally a good idea to drive more cautiously when transporting cargo in a vehicle. If this is also taken to an extreme, though, it could increase the chances of a collision.
There are also times when a timid driver is either under the influence of drugs/alcohol or is trying to avoid detection from law enforcement for some reason or another.
Dangerous Actions Taken by Timid Drivers
Traffic laws are meant to be followed by all drivers, and anyone who fails to do so could be found at fault if an accident occurs. This includes timid drivers.
A timid driver may drive below the posted speed limit. Doing this on a highway could not only result in serious traffic delays, but it could also lead to an accident if another driver tries to pass the slow-moving vehicle in a tight spot.
Another dangerous action by timid drivers is braking on a clear road. While following vehicles should keep appropriate distances from others, a vehicle that suddenly brakes for no reason could be dangerous.
Timid drivers may also yield to another vehicle, even when they have the right of way, increasing the chances of a collision. For example, if a timid driver is in a roundabout and he or she stops while in the traffic circle to let an awaiting vehicle into it. The vehicles behind the timid driver may not have enough time to stop, even while maintaining appropriate following distance.
Are Timid or Aggressive Drivers More Dangerous?
This is a difficult question to answer, as both types of drivers are dangerous in their own way. An aggressive driver may tailgate another or honk the horn repeatedly. While a timid driver is going to be focused on trying to not get hit by another vehicle, so he or she might slow down excessively.
A combination of a timid and aggressive driver could probably prove to be the worst-case scenario because the timid driver may infuriate the aggressive driver even more, causing him or her to cut out in front of the vehicle or even retaliate with certain actions like brake checking.
If the aggressive driver tries to switch lanes to overtake the slow-moving vehicle, but miscalculates the space for his or her vehicle, a collision could occur between the aggressive driver and a third vehicle.
What Are My Options if I am Involved in a Crash with a Timid Driver?
You may be able to file a claim with the liability insurance of whatever driver caused the collision that injured you. Whether the collision was caused by a timid driver or an aggressive driver trying to get away from the timid driver.
Remember that the negligent party is the one who should be held liable for damages. Therefore, if the collision occurred because a timid driver braked on a clear road or yielded the right of way when he or she should not have and you collided with the vehicle, then the timid driver could be liable for the accident.
However, if your vehicle collides with an aggressive driver who incorrectly overtook a slow-moving vehicle, the aggressive driver could be at fault.
Steps to Take That May Help Avoid a Collision with a Timid Driver
If you encounter a timid driver on the road, the best option is to try and avoid him or her. If possible, properly pass the vehicle and drive ahead. If you are unable to overtake a timid driver, it is important to be patient and wait for the right opportunity to pass him or her.
Sometimes it might be difficult to predict whether a vehicle will stop for no reason, especially when it has the right of way, so be sure to always maintain a safe following distance.
Need Help Filing a Claim? Call Us Today
If you were injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. Let our experienced attorneys help you through this legal process so you may focus on your health.
Our attorneys have decades of experience negotiating settlements with insurance companies but are also prepared to file a lawsuit when necessary.
Call (844) 678-1800 to schedule a free consultation.