What You Need To Know About Lane Change Crashes
Drivers change lanes pretty much every time they head out on the freeway or a four-lane road. Most of the time, lane changes go smoothly and cars merge seamlessly into the lane they move into. Unfortunately, lane change crashes do happen and when they do, they can come with deadly consequences.
If you or a loved one was injured in a lane change accident because of the negligence of another driver, contact a car accident lawyer for help. The injury attorney can assess the details of your accident and injuries and discuss your legal rights. If they take on your case, they will fight for the settlement you deserve.
Causes of lane change crashes
There are many causes of lane change collisions. In an analysis of lane change crashes by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), they identified seven pre-crash scenarios that caused the most lane change related crashes in 1999. The most common scenario was two vehicles driving on parallel paths where one vehicle intentionally changes lanes and crashes into the other vehicle. This scenario is considered a “typical lane change” and it was the cause of 207,000 lane change accidents that year. About 10 percent of these accidents involved large trucks changing lanes and light vehicles such as passenger vehicles going straight.
The seven most common pre-crash scenarios identified by the NHTSA were responsible for about 88 percent of all two-vehicle lane change crashes.
Lane change accident risk factors
Like other types of car accidents, lane change collisions are largely preventable. We know that we are supposed to use shoulder checking and our side view mirrors before changing lanes so it stands to reason that if a driver fails to use their side view mirror or their mirrors are missing, dirty or blocked, the chances of an accident during a lane change increases dramatically. Other major factors in lane change accidents are:
- Reckless behavior such as speeding and tailgating.
- Aggressive driving such as constant lane changes to get around other drivers.
- Distracted driving just before or during a lane change, such as from a screaming child in the back seat.
- Changing lanes without warning.
- Poor visibility from snow, rain or ice storms or even from sun in the eyes.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Heavy traffic.
To prevent lane change accidents for these common risk factors, follow these tips:
- Always keep your side view mirrors clean and unobstructed.
- Always shoulder check and use your mirrors before changing lanes.
- Always use your turn signal before changing lanes.
- Avoid speeding and tailgating.
- Leave enough time to get to your destination so you won’t be tempted to weave in and out of traffic to get there faster.
- Avoid driving in snow, wind or ice storms if at all possible.
- Be extra careful when the sun is in your eyes.
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Be extra cautious when driving in heavy traffic or alter your schedule to avoid it.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!