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Unsafe Lane Changes


You’re in a hurry and there’s a slow car in front of you, so you change lanes abruptly without using your turn signals. No big deal, right? Wrong!

Not using turn signals, crossing multiple lanes at once, and not leaving enough space between your vehicle can cause you to be cited for an unsafe lane change. This is not something to be taken lightly.

Statistics show that 9% of all accidents in the United States are caused by reckless lane changes. Many of these accidents are caused by motorcyclists, although drivers of passenger vehicles and semi trucks are often to blame as well. Nearly 35,000 people are injured in the United States from unsafe lane changes every year. In addition, approximately 6,000 people die from unsafe lane changes every year.

In Texas, an unsafe lane change violation can result in a $200 fine. In addition, you will get two points on your driving record and your insurance premiums may increase. If you get four or more violations in one year, your driver’s license could get suspended.

Here are some of the most dangerous maneuvers drivers make when changing lanes:

  • Failure to use turn signals before changing lanes
  • Changing lanes without checking a rearview mirror or blind spot
  • Crossing multiple lanes at once
  • Changing lanes in the middle of an intersection
  • Not staying in one’s lane
  • Improper merge onto the highway
  • Two vehicles trying to enter the same lane simultaneously

Common Causes

  • Weaving in and out of traffic. This is due to the misconception that driving faster will save lots of time. These drivers are always seeking the faster moving lane or the gaps in traffic that will allow their progress. They are usually traveling faster than the majority of traffic. The increased number of lane changes increases the risk of accidents. Slow down and remember that driving is not a race.
  • Unintended lane change. This refers to moving into the adjacent lane on accident. The driver does not intend to change lanes or may not even be aware they are changing lanes. This is often caused by distractions, fatigue, and impairment. Focus on the road and do not drive if you are intoxicated or overly tired.
  • Last-second lane changes. The driver is caught off guard and surprised by their driving environment. To avoid this, they attempt a last-second lane change and often miss vital traffic information about other vehicles in their proximity. The solution is to focus on your driving so you can plan lane changes well in advance.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Changing lanes should be done safely. If you don’t check for other vehicles before doing so, you could be involved in a serious crash.

Get the help you need from a Houston car accident attorney from The West Law Office, PLLC. We’ll assist you in dealing with the shock, injuries, and other damages. Schedule a free consultation by filling out the online form or calling 281-347-3247.



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