Government bodies institute traffic laws to protect people on the roads. Unfortunately, drivers who ignore these laws often cause collisions that injure or kill others. Not only is failing to follow traffic laws illegal, but it also can devastate the lives of those involved in resulting car accidents.
Unsafe lane changes cause many car accidents in New York, and injured victims often struggle to handle the aftermath alone. When you hire Cellino Law to represent you, we will take care of things for you so you can focus on your recovery.
What Is an Unsafe Lane Change?
Many streets, roads, and highways have at least two parallel lanes for people headed in the same direction. Drivers may need to change lanes for several reasons:
- Preparing to turn onto another street
- Taking the correct split on a highway
- Passing slow or stopped vehicles
- Avoiding an obstacle on the road
- Avoiding other cars that merge into their lane unsafely
- Changing lanes in restricted areas, such as tunnels and bridges
You can usually change lanes safely if you are paying attention to the traffic surrounding you.
What Can Cause Unsafe Lane Changes?
Some accidents are nearly unavoidable. Adverse weather conditions like heavy rain or snow and dense fog can limit your sight distance. However, most collisions caused by unsafe lane changes could be prevented. Driver error usually causes these collisions, and driver error is generally due to negligence.
Every driver has blind spots. These are areas that are virtually impossible to see with mirrors. You must turn your head to see if other vehicles are in your blind spot, so you don’t pull into another lane and hit them.
Tractor-trailers have extremely large blind spots called No Man’s Land. Semi-trucks can cause catastrophic damage when they’re unable to see other motorists. Drivers of passenger cars may not know their autos aren’t visible to truck drivers and inadvertently cause a collision.
These large trucks take significantly longer to slow and stop than average vehicles. Other drivers might pull into a lane in front of a truck, assuming that it can slow down to avoid a collision if necessary.
Failing To Check Mirrors
Rearview mirrors and those on car doors let you see what’s happening behind and beside you. They’re not effective if drivers don’t check them before starting to change lanes.
Not Noticing Other Cars Approaching the Same Lane
Many highways have three or more lanes. Cars from the outside lanes might begin to enter the center lane simultaneously if they’re not paying close attention.
Drivers can misjudge their own speeds and other vehicle’s speed as well. They might mistakenly think there’s enough time to pass another car.
Re-Entering a Lane Too Soon
Along with misjudging speeds, drivers can also misjudge distance. Drivers can pull into another lane too close behind or in front of another vehicle.
Weaving Through Traffic
Drivers in a hurry often weave through traffic, passing several cars without truly paying attention. These people often combine this dangerous behavior with speeding.
Driving While Intoxicated
Alcohol, drugs, and fatigue cause many physical impairments. Some of these can make improper lane changes seem like a good idea.
Drivers who take their sight and attention away from traffic or their hands off the steering wheel are guilty of distracted driving. These people might be unaware that they’re drifting into another lane until it’s too late to prevent a collision.
You’re supposed to activate your turn signal when you plan to change lanes and turn it off manually if it doesn’t stop automatically. Failing to do either can confuse other drivers and cause a crash.
When changing lanes, you should fully enter your new lane as soon as possible. If you drive between lanes for too long, other drivers don’t know which lane you’re planning to stay in.
What Is Negligence?
Legally, negligence is failing to use a reasonable level of care to avoid harming others. Negligent behavior can be actions or omissions. Drivers have a duty of care to drive safely to avoid causing accidents that can result in injuries or other damages.
Say that Jeff changed lanes unsafely and caused an accident. To establish negligence, you must prove that:
- Jeff owed you a duty of care
- Jeff breached his duty of care
- Jeff’s breach caused an accident
- You sustained injuries or other damage in that accident
Your attorney from Cellino Law will investigate Jeff’s actions to gather evidence proving he was negligent. This is crucial because negligence is the basis for most personal injury claims.
What Kinds of Accidents Occur Due to Unsafe Lane Changes?
Unsafe lane changes can cause multiple-vehicle collisions. Surrounding drivers must adjust their courses or speed suddenly, and this may cause a chain reaction.
When semi-trucks are involved, they can crush other vehicles or cause an under-ride accident. Different kinds of wrecks include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Crashes against medians or other barriers
- Hitting pedestrians
Any of these accidents can cause serious or fatal injuries. Cellino Law can help you recover compensation for your damages if you sustained injuries in an unsafe lane change collision.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Car accident claims in New York can be complicated. New York is a no-fault state, and PIP insurance claims are often confusing. The pure comparative fault system is another complication that lay people may have difficulty understanding. When you hire an attorney from Cellino Law, we will explain what these regulations mean to your case. We will also:
- Describe your options and provide guidance and advice
- Complete all of the required paperwork
- Investigate your accident
- Ensure that fault is assigned correctly
- Negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies or take your case to trial if they refuse to cooperate
- Give you personal attention
We will work hard to make the claims process smooth for you while fighting for your right to compensation.
What Should You Do After an Unsafe Lane Change Accident?
If you’re involved in any car accident, there are several things you should do at the scene:
- Assist others who are injured if possible.
- Call 911.
- Use your phone to take photos and videos of vehicle damage and placements, skid marks, witness statements, and any other relevant details.
- Accept a medical assessment or seek one if paramedics don’t come to your accident scene.
- Contact Cellino Law.
It’s vital that you don’t admit to any degree of fault. Don’t even apologize because that can be used against you.
Why Should You Call Cellino Law?
Cellino Law has represented injured accident victims in New York and surrounding states for more than 60 years. During that time, we have recovered over $2 billion in settlements for our clients. We focus on car accident claims, including those caused by unsafe lane changes. We have intimate knowledge of applicable laws and statutes, and we can handle your case competently and professionally.
Cellino Law understands that car collisions often cause financial strain, so you won’t pay us any upfront costs. You won’t owe us fees until we win compensation for you. Request your free case consultation 24/7 by calling (800) 555-5555 or completing our contact request form.