The concept of careless driving tickets is well known to most drivers, but few stop to think about what careless driving really is or how it causes crashes. Careless driving is a paragliding term for a number of violations including lane drifting, which can result in head-on or sideswipe crashes. Approximately 10,000 deaths happen annually when vehicles leave the roadway. Checkout Springfield Careless Driving for more info.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drifting is defined as “when a vehicle is moving in a generally straight line, but at a slight angle to the lane. The driver might correct his or her course as the vehicle approaches a lane or other boundary, or fail to correct until after a boundary has been crossed.

Driver mistake causes lane drifting. Particular causes of lane drift include:

Driving under influence of alcohol or drugs

Scrooge or fall asleep

Speeding, above all around a curve

Lack of alertness, like daydreaming, searching around for something in the car or looking outside the car

Remaining sober and alert for drivers, and maintaining conditions-appropriate speed help prevent lane drifting. Roadway engineering and in-vehicle technology are providing support to drivers doing drift and increasing protection for all road users.

NHTSA says about 90 percent of all fatal rural crashes occur on two-lane roads. Two-lane roads in rural areas do not usually have medians to separate two-way traffic; with vehicles traveling in opposing directions in such close proximity to each other, the margin of error is small and the potential for tragedy is huge. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), sideswipe or head-on crashes that occur when vehicles cross the centerline account for about 20 percent of fatal crashes on two-lane rural roads and cause about 4,500 deaths annually. Many drivers are familiar with rumbling strips along the right side of long stretches of highway; rumbling is both felt and heard when the tires of the vehicle drift onto the road’s shoulder. The IIHS advocates adding rumble strips along the centerlines of undivided two-lane rural highways.