Unsafe lane changes are one type of dangerous driving behavior that can result in substantial injuries, property damage, and death. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that in Texas in 2015 there 5,031 collisions due to unsafe lane changes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notes that seventy five percent of collisions due to unsafe lane changes occur involve failure by the merging driver to recognize the surrounding conditions. This article will explain the role of unsafe lane changes in accidents involving commercial motor vehicles.
Common Causes for Unsafe Lane Changes
Commercial motor vehicle drivers must be extra cautious when making lane changes because commercial vehicles have great blind spots than other smaller vehicles. In addition to commercial drivers who fail to recognize conditions, accidents due to unsafe lane changes are caused by several different reasons.
- Adverse Weather Conditions. Commercial truck drivers sometimes cause unsafe lane changes because the driver is unable to promptly respond to changes in the weather.
- Driver Distractions. Drivers who perform various distracting practices while driving commercial motor vehicles like texting, speaking on a cell phone, or eating are more likely to make unsafe lane changes that cause car collisions.
- Failure of Drivers. Unsafe lane changes are common among commercial drivers who fail to perform various essential driving techniques like using proper turn signals or aligning rear view mirrors.
- Impaired Drivers. Commercial truck drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles while fatigued or intoxicated tend to make unsafe lane changes, which can result in unsafe lane changes.
Unsafe Lane Changes
The term “unsafe lane changes” actually includes several different types of driving techniques that commercial truck drivers make which can create dangers for smaller passenger vehicles.
- Blind Spots. When commercial truck drivers fail to check for blind spots prior to lane changes, unsafe conditions can lead to collisions between vehicles.
- Too Fast. Commercial truck drivers who are in a hurry to change lanes might fail to signal lane changes or change lanes at an excessive speed.
- Two Lanes. Unsafe lane changes might include a commercial truck driver who practices swerving or being split between two lanes.
- Commercial truck drivers who weave in and out of lanes can cause unsafe conditions for other drivers.
As is common with many accidents involving collisions with commercial motor vehicles, accident victims can potentially pursue damages against both the trucking company and even the manufacturer of truck parts.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle, contact our law firm. Call 409-838-1000 or email our lawyers to schedule your free initial consultation.