According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 6.7 million motor vehicle accidents were reported in the United States in 2018. There are many ways that motor vehicle accidents occur. These instances include poor vehicle maintenance, damaged roads, poor visibility, speeding, and other forms of driver negligence, such as intoxicated driving, drowsy driving, and distracted driving.
Unsafe lane change accidents are also a common cause of accidents. While such accidents do not receive the same attention and research as, for example, head-on collisions and distracted driving accidents, they can still lead to serious injuries. They can even be deadly. If you have suffered injuries in an unsafe lane change accident, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC at (828) 286-3866. Our Columbus unsafe lane change accident lawyer will walk you through what you need to know about filing a claim or a lawsuit.
Unsafe Lane Change Accidents
Unsafe lane changes are serious moving violations, as per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Depending on how and where a driver executes an unsafe lane change, a victim may suffer from little or no injury to catastrophic injuries or even death. This is especially true for unsafe lane changes on highways where higher vehicle speeds are involved and in accidents between small and large road users, such as trucks and passenger cars or cars and motorcyclists or pedestrians.
Common causes of unsafe lane change accidents include merging too quickly from a side road to a highway and not adjusting your speed while changing lanes. Road damage, unexpected changes in traffic patterns, vehicle failures, and driving errors made by other drivers can also cause an accident, especially when large vehicles are involved since such vehicles have larger blind spots and no-zones than other vehicles.
While unsafe lane changes are recognized as a form of negligent driving, you may feel that defining a lane change as unsafe can be difficult. However, North Carolina General Statutes (GS) §20-146 clearly defines how vehicles must be driven and how lane changes must be executed to be categorized as safe.
- You must drive on the right half of the highway if there is sufficient width to do so.
- You can only overtake on the right.
- You can only drive on the left of the highway if there are obstructions to the right.
- Slower vehicles must drive on the right of the highway.
- For roads with two or more clearly marked lanes, you must drive your vehicle entirely within a single lane.
- You cannot move from your lane until you ascertain that your desired movement can be made safely.
In addition to the above, you must check your blind spot for vehicles, pedestrians, or motorcyclists before changing lanes, and you must signal before executing a lane change. You must also execute only one maneuver at a time.
With the above definitions, it becomes much easier to identify an at-fault motorist guilty of unsafe lane changing as guilty of an unsafe lane change infraction. All you need is evidence of how the driver in question broke the law or drove dangerously and how those actions caused or contributed to your accident. Based on the evidence available, you can hold the driver in question liable for your damages.
In many cases, a driver who is drowsy, intoxicated, distracted, in a hurry, or is speeding or driving recklessly will execute an unsafe lane change and cause an accident. In such cases, depending on the type of accident that occurs, you, the police, or your attorney may not handle the accident as an unsafe lane change accident. Instead, it may be classified as a head-on, rear-end, speeding, distracted, or intoxicated driver accident, even though the action that caused the accident was an unsafe lane change.
This is why an understanding of the law is key to winning motor vehicle accident and personal injury cases. An attorney can help you put together a claim and identify any rules or laws that the driver may have broken so that you can file a claim based on the specifics of your case. Consider hiring a Columbus unsafe lane change lawyer with Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC to discuss your case in detail. Our team can be reached at (828) 286-3866, and we provide free case evaluations at no upfront cost.
Investigating Your Case
In addition to determining which laws–if any–an at-fault driver broke while causing an unsafe lane change accident, we can investigate your case to see if any of the following apply to your accident:
- Blindspot issues
- Driving too slowly or too quickly while changing lanes
- Driver inexperience
- Changing multiple lanes at once
- Distractions that resulted in straying or drifting into an adjacent lane
- Incorrect use of signals
Contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC Today
Do not underestimate how serious unsafe lane change accidents can be. They can lead to brain and spinal cord injuries, broken bones, organ damage, paralysis, and even death. If you have suffered injuries or other damages in an unsafe lane change accident, you have the right to hold the negligent, at-fault driver liable for your losses.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC at (828) 286-3866 today to learn more about how we can help you. Our Columbus unsafe lane change accident lawyer can gather the evidence needed to build a case, and we can quantify and evaluate your losses and damages. We can also negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf, and we will file a claim for all compensable damages based on the specifics of your case.