Unsafe Lane Changing Accidents
Motorcycle riders are at an increased risk for injury and death when involved in car accidents. Like pedestrians and cyclists, motorcycle riders don’t have the modern safety advantages available to passenger vehicle occupants. Even with helmets, jackets, boots and other types of protective gear, they are truly at the mercy of other drivers on the road. If you talk to just about any motorcycle rider, he or she will tell you that unsafe lane changing is a huge problem.
When drivers are either distracted or simply not checking their blind spots prior to changing lanes, they’re putting the lives of motorcycle riders and other roadway users at great risk.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) encourages drivers to “share the road” with motorcycle riders and other roadway users. Sharing the road means never engaging in distracted driving behaviors and sharing the road respectively with other motorists, riders and drivers. Motorcycle riders have the same right to be on the road as everybody else, and they should be treated equally and safely on the roadways. Drivers should always give them a full lane’s width to travel in and be careful when changing lanes. Motorcycle riders are counting on drivers to engage in safe and lawful lane changing techniques. Nothing’s scarier to a motorcycle rider than a driver obliviously moving into his or her lane. Listed below are a few common causes of unsafe lane changes.
Common Causes of Unsafe Lane Changes
- Failing to check side and rear-view mirrors
- Failing to check blind spots
- Changing more than one lane at a time
- Speeding through traffic
- Lane changing while distracted driving
- Drifting into other lanes
- Aggressive driving
- Impaired driving
- Failing to signal before a lane change
- Making a lane change with diminished visibility
Distracted Driving And Unsafe Lane Changes
Distracted driving is one of the largest contributors to unsafe lane changes. If drivers aren’t paying attention to the task of driving, they’re definitely not making safe lane changes. Drivers who are diverting their attention to hand held devices or other cognitive, manual or visual tasks are not equipped to safely share the road with motorcycle riders, or any other type of roadway user for that matter. Drivers need to be fully aware of their surroundings and check mirrors and blind spots prior to making lane changes. They can’t safely change lanes if they’re looking at cell phones or engaging in other types of distracted behaviors behind the wheel.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Whether you were merged into or had to make a last minute decision to get out of the way of a dangerous driver, motorcycle accidents can leave victims in the hospital and out of work. Unfortunately, many injuries arising from motorcycle accidents can be very serious for riders. Injuries to the spinal cord and limbs are not uncommon. Hopefully, you were wearing a helmet at the time of your crash, but it’s still possible to suffer from traumatic brain injury depending upon the severity of your wreck and the speeds involved. Fractures, lacerations, ‘road rash,’ and a variety of other injuries can occur as a result of unsafe lane changing accidents. Since motorcycles offer very little protection or safety advances to riders, catastrophic or even fatal injuries can occur in this type of accident.
When it comes to motorcycle safety, drivers should remember the old adage, “look twice, save a life.” Really, if they’re looking at all, once is enough. It’s the drivers that are changing lanes without checking mirrors and blind spots that are getting motorcycle riders injured or killed. Motorcycles are smaller than regular cars and light trucks, so don’t expect to just know when one is coming up. You’re behind the wheel, so engage in safe and lawful driving techniques. Check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes, merging or moving through different lanes of traffic. Being aware of your surroundings and always making a habit of safe driving techniques could save lives.
After any type of motorcycle accident, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your case. Motorcycle riders are at the mercy of other drivers on the road, and dangerous drivers need to be held accountable for unsafe lane changes. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one due to a driver that made an unsafe lane change, contact the proven motorcycle accident team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for a free case consultation.
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