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What Are the Causes of an Unsafe Lane Change?

What Are the Causes of an Unsafe Lane Change?

What causes drivers to make an unsafe lane change? Who is liable when an unsafe driving maneuver causes a motor vehicle accident in Kansas? There are many factors, such as debris and animals in the roadway, that can cause drivers to make an unsafe lane change. However, regardless of the cause of an unsafe lane change, drivers can still be held liable for personal injuries, property damage, or wrongful deaths.

How Often Do Unsafe Lane Changes Occur?

In 2018, improper lane changes were noted in 2,268 motor vehicle accidents in Kansas. That represented 3.8% of all accidents in the state. A further 1,576, or 2.6% of accidents, cited avoidance or evasive action as a factor. A total of 361, or .6% of accidents cited improper passing as a factor causing a motor vehicle accident in Kansas.

Causes & Consequences of an Unsafe Lane Change

In addition to aggressive driving behaviors, there are many other causes of an unsafe lane change on a Kansas road. These include avoiding debris in the road, oil spills, potholes, animals, and unseen accidents when cresting hills, turning corners, or driving through fog.

When a driver engages in an unsafe lane change, they create a significant risk of a side-impact collision, head-on accident, rollover, or rear-end collision. Even at low speeds, these types of motor vehicle accidents pose a serious risk of causing traumatic brain injury, neck injuries, and paralysis.

Regardless of the cause of an unsafe maneuver, drivers are still responsible for maintaining control over their vehicle and not engaging in actions that could endanger pedestrians or other motorists. This means that even when a factor causes a motor vehicle accident outside of the driver's control, injured parties can still pursue a personal injury claim against the driver. Likewise, the driver of the vehicle could pursue a claim against the individual or entity responsible for causing the road's hazardous road condition or obstruction.

Preventing Unsafe Lane Changes

There are many things drivers can do to prevent an unsafe lane change. While technologies such as lane assist can alert drivers to an unsafe maneuver, they can be overridden, and it is still up to the driver to decide whether or not to change lanes. Thus, avoiding situations where an unsafe lane change can occur is still the best form of prevention.

Drivers can prevent an unsafe lane change by avoiding frequent lane changes and maintaining the proper following distance. As a general rule, motorists should keep at least six seconds of distance between their vehicle and any vehicles in front of them. In most cases, this means driving 2-3 miles an hour slower than other vehicles.

Motorists should also slow down when traveling down poorly maintained roads and in areas where wildlife are present. This is especially important in low-light or low-visibility situations where factors such as fog and poor lighting can make it challenging to see obstructions in the road or animals lurking about.

Finally, drivers should always remain alert and avoid distractions. Many unsafe lane changes occur because drivers were distracted and failed to see obstructions that were readily visible and easily avoidable.

Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. Our firm represents clients injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by an unsafe lane change in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, or Texas. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.