You may be surprised to find that improper lane changing behavior is one of the leading causes of car crashes. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), failure to maintain the proper lane in traffic led to the deaths of over 3,700 people in 2018.
If you or someone you loved was hurt in a car accident because a driver veered into your lane improperly, you may be entitled to compensation. At Morelli Law Firm, our Buffalo accident caused by improper lane changes lawyer can evaluate your case’s facts and help you pursue justice.
Contact us at (212) 751-9800 to schedule your case review.
Causes of Improper Lane Change Accidents
There are a number of ways a driver might make an improper lane change, whether due to recklessness or a failure to signal before changing lanes. In either case, the driver will have acted negligently and committed a moving traffic violation.
Common reasons for unsafe lane changing behavior among drivers include:
- Distracted driving, such as texting or speaking to someone while driving
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Failure to obey traffic signals or traffic control devices
- Failure to look out and check the car’s blind spots
- Poor visibility or bad driving conditions
- Reckless driving
- Fatigued or drowsy driving
- Inexperienced driving
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How Blind Spots Lead to Improper Lane Changes
One common cause of improper lane changing behavior is the driver’s failure to check their blind spots when driving. The rearview mirrors have a limited line of sight, which is why motorists must not only rely on rearview mirrors before making lane changes. They must manually look over their shoulder on both sides to see the blind spots the mirrors miss.
Missing blind spots often leads to accidents with other motorists and vulnerable road users, like bicyclists and motorcyclists. If an improper lane change occurred on the highway, the increased speeds involved with highway driving may lead to an even more severe accident.
If a driver failed to check their blind spot before making a lane change and their negligence led to an accident, your lawyer may be able to use this information to build your case.
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New York Laws on Improper Lane Changes
Several laws in New York provide instruction on how drivers should execute lane changes. According to New York Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) §1128, drivers must remain in their lane to the greatest extent possible and move into another lane only when they’ve determined that they can move safely.
This law includes several other regulations for making safe lane changes. Other portions of NY § 1128 dictate that:
- Drivers should only pass other vehicles or make a left turn in a center lane if it is safe
- Drivers should use the designated lanes
- Drivers should obey official signs and hazard road markings in traffic lanes and avoid crossing them where they exist
Apart from NY § 1128, the Ambrose-Searles Move Over Act requires drivers to take precautions to avoid colliding with safety, emergency, or construction vehicles parked, standing, or stopped on the shoulder of a road or highway with emergency lights activated. This law requires drivers to change lanes in advance on multi-lane roadways to provide a safe passing distance for emergency or police vehicles. Anyone who fails to observe this law commits a moving violation.
Penalties for Improper Lane Changes in New York
A driver who breaks the law regarding lane changes commits a moving violation. First-time offenders violating lane change laws in NY § 1128 or the Ambrose-Searles Move Over Act may face lower penalties. However, multi-instance offenders will likely face an increase in fines. Some offenders may also be assessed points on their license for this moving violation.
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Seeking Compensation for Your Losses After an Accident
Many states operate based on a no-fault insurance procedure, and New York is one of those states. No-fault insurance rules dictate that you should first pursue a claim through your own auto insurance in order to receive compensation for any property damages or medical expenses that resulted from your collision.
In New York, drivers are expected to carry liability coverage including:
- $10,000 to cover any property damage
- $25,000 to cover bodily injury and $50,000 in the event of someone’s death in an accident
- $50,000 to cover bodily injury and $100,000 in the event of two deaths in an accident
However, if you exhaust your own insurance coverage and would like to pursue a claim against the offending driver who caused your accident, you may be able to do so under certain circumstances. In New York, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver if your injuries meet certain criteria. Your lawyer can speak with you more about your injuries and if you meet such criteria by law.
Remember that you have a limited amount of time to file a claim. In New York, you have three years from the date of an accident to file a claim for personal injury or property damage. When you work with a Buffalo accident caused by improper lane changes lawyer, they can help to ensure that you meet any deadlines that may apply to your case.
Call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 to learn more.
Get Help for Personal Injury at Morelli Law Firm
If you or your loved one were hurt in a car accident because another driver changed lanes improperly, you might be eligible for compensation.
Reach out to our Buffalo accident caused by improper lane changes lawyer to get your case reviewed and receive guidance on the next steps to take. Every accident’s circumstances are different, which is why our lawyer can discuss with you what to do after your case evaluation.
Contact us at (212) 751-9800 to schedule your no-obligation case review.