Unsafe Lane Changes
Lane change crashes are among the most common in Georgia and throughout the United States. According to a 2003 report conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 1999 alone there were 539,000 two-vehicle lane change accidents in the United States, accounting for 9% of total police-reported motor vehicle accidents.
In Georgia, plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for injuries that are caused due to another’s negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct. Unsafe lane changes in the Atlanta area and throughout the state often result from careless operation of a motor vehicle, or violation of traffic laws.
For example, the “Move Over” law (section 40-6-16 of the Georgia Code) requires that drivers move-over to the next non-adjacent lane when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle that is stopped on and displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, red, or blue lights — though if the lane change would be impossible, illegal, or otherwise unsafe, then the driver is allowed to reduce speed and come to a stop until a safe opportunity to merge arises.
Violation of the Move Over law would be deemed presumptively negligent conduct, in most cases.
All drivers, whether from Atlanta or elsewhere, have a duty to others on the road (motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, etc.) to exercise reasonable care in the operation of their vehicle. Unsafe lane changes generally violate this duty and may expose the driver to liability.
Injured as the result of another driver’s unsafe lane change? You may be entitled to compensation. Call (404) 418-8507 to schedule a free consultation with Atlanta motor vehicle accident lawyer James Ponton today.
Negligence When Changing Lanes in the Atlanta Area
Unsafe lane changing includes, but is not necessarily limited, to the following negligent driver behavior:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving (i.e., tiredness, intoxication)
- Vision impairment
- Excessive speeding at the time of the lane change
- Failure of the driver to check for traffic in their blind spots and to use mirrors when appropriate
- Failure to use turn signal
- Failure to match speed with that of traffic in the lane
- Merging without adequate room
- Driving along the lines between lanes for an extended duration
- Attempting to merge on an upward/downward slope, or at a sharp turn, where vision may be obscured
Importantly, if you are to succeed in finding the defendant liable for your injuries, you must not only show that they have acted negligently in making an unsafe lane change, but also that the unsafe lane change significantly contributed to your injuries. The mere fact that an accident occurred is not proof that the unsafe lane change caused it — if you had adequate notice of the unsafe lane change, then you would be expected to react accordingly and avoid a collision (if possible).
Speak With an Atlanta Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Today
Here at Ponton Law, we are committed to providing effective, client-oriented representation to injured plaintiffs. We believe that it’s important for attorneys to work closely with our clients from beginning-to-end of the litigation process (early pre-litigation negotiations through to trial) so that attorney-client objectives are properly aligned.
Attorney James Ponton has spent nearly a decade as a personal injury litigator in a variety of cases, including those involving car accident claims. Prior to his experiences as a plaintiff-side litigator, James served as an insurance defense attorney. Thanks to his diverse background and experiences, Attorney James Ponton is uniquely well-positioned to counter the arguments typically employed by defense counsel. His track record speaks for itself — since 2012, James has recovered millions in compensation for his injured clients.
Have you been injured in a collision that was caused by an unsafe lane change precipitated by another motorist? If so, you may be entitled to recover damages as compensation for your injuries, pursuant to Georgia law. Call (404) 418-8507 to speak to an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer today. The initial consultation is free.