Improper Lane Changes
Motor vehicle drivers who make improper lane changers cause a significant number of motor vehicle accidents in Georgia each year. In many cases, accidents due to improper lane changes create the presumption that the driver making the lane change is the at fault driver, which can make the assistance of a skilled motor vehicle driver particularly beneficial. Applicable law in the state of Georgia also imposes a duty on motor vehicle drivers to ensure that it is safe to change lanes before doing so.
Applicable Georgia Law Regarding Lane Changes
In the state of Georgia, there are particularly laws restricting the situations during which lane changes can be made. When a road has been divided into two or more lanes, Georgia law requires that a motor vehicle be driven as nearly as practicable within a single lane of road and that a driver should not from the lane until the driver determines that the lane change can be performed safely. Georgia law is particularly unclear regarding what constitutes a safe situation in which a motor vehicle driver can lawfully change a lane. There is also a relevant section of Georgia law which holds that motor vehicle drivers must follow traffic control devices that determine when lane changes can properly be made. Failing to obey these traffic control devices often results in individuals being charged with violations.
Examples of Improper Lane Changes
Improper lane changes tend to cause motor vehicle accidents when another motor vehicle driver cannot respond quickly enough or break with enough time to avoid colliding with the driver who changed lanes. There are a variety of situations in which motor vehicle drivers in the state of Georgia can perform improper lane changes. Some of the unsafe lane changes include the following situations:
- Changing lanes on a hill or curve where a motor vehicle driver cannot see a sufficient distance.
- Failing to check for motor vehicles next to an individual when performing a lane change.
- Failing to check mirrors for other vehicles or nearby blind spots.
- Failing to take adverse weather conditions or roadside obstructions into considerations when performing a lane change.
- Failing to use turn signals to communicate one’s intention to change lanes.
- Not allow sufficient space for other motor vehicles when making a lane change.
- Straddling two lanes for an extended period of time.
There are a variety of reasons why motor vehicle drivers in the state of Georgia are forced to make quick lane changes. Some of the reasons for lane changes include: animals that run onto the road, limited visibility due to fog or other poor conditions, medical problems that come on suddenly, oil spills on the road, poor road conditions that cause a motor vehicle driver to lose control of their vehicle, roadside obstructions, and rushing to a hospital,
Unsafe lane changes can cause motor vehicle collisions which often occur because a motor vehicle driver cannot move out of the way of a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction or the driver cannot break fast enough when being cut off by a driver who has changed lanes.
Accidents Involving Improper Lane Changes
If a motor vehicle operator loses control of their vehicle, serious accidents can occur including front end accidents, rear end collisions, rollovers, and side impact collisions.These accidents are often particularly serious and can involve both fatalities and injuries like broken bones, burns, facial damage, internal injuries, lacerations, paralysis, traumatic brain damage, and whiplash. If a motor vehicle driver makes an improper lane change that results in the death of any party including another motor vehicle driver, a passenger, or a bystander than the liable motorist can often expect to face a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court in addition to penalties from a law enforcement citation.
In order to avoid accidents due to improper lane changes, individuals should understand how to properly change lanes while driving. Motor vehicle operators who desire to change lanes should first wait until there is a clear gap in traffic. A motorist should then turn on a motor vehicle’s signal, check the vehicle’s rearview mirrors, and check the vehicle’s blind spots by looking over the individual’s shoulder. A motorist should then smoothly move into the center of the new lane, while maintaining the individual’s space in the flow of traffic so that no surrounding motor vehicles are forced to change driving patterns. Motor vehicle drivers should always remember to turn off their motor vehicle’s signals are completing a lane change.
Defending against an Unsafe Lane Change Citation
There are several potential defenses available for individuals to respond to unsafe lane change citations. In many cases, individuals have received a citation for unsafe lane changes because law enforcement has determined that the individual did not change lanes with “reasonable safety”. Many individuals are able to successfully defend against unsafe lane changes by undermining the law enforcement officer’s judgment. In other cases, law enforcement officers were not situated in adequate locations in order to determine that the motorist made an unsafe lane change. In order to raise a strong defense against law enforcement concerning an unsafe lane change citation, individuals frequently find it essential to retain the services of strong and talented legal counsel.
Contact a Knowledgeable Georgia Auto Accident Attorney
Accidents due to improper lane changes can leave motor vehicle drivers particularly confused about how to proceed. Motor vehicle drivers should remember to follow several recommended guidelines in the event of an accident, which include: making sure that everyone in the vehicle is okay, moving the vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic if it is safe to do so, contacting emergency services, documenting all relevant details about how the accident happened,and retaining the services of a seasoned attorney who is familiar with improper lane change cases.
Contact the law firm of Yeargan, Barber & Kert today to obtain the services of a skilled auto accident attorney. Our film understands that improper lane changes can lead to a variety of accidents which can make the assistance of seasoned legal counsel particularly. Do not hesitate to contact our law firm today.