Like the many other tasks you perform on the road, you probably change lanes several times during each trip. However, when done improperly, a lane change can cause an accident. When a lane change accident occurs, you need to know who is responsible.
Who Is Held Responsible for Lane Change Accidents in Atlanta?
The party that does not have the right of way to execute the lane change is the party that is responsible for an accident. In most cases, this is the driver moving to enter the new lane. A driver must ensure that there is sufficient distance between other vehicles before executing a lane change.
What are the laws in Atlanta for lane changes?
Georgia Code § 40-6-123 applies to lane changes on the roads in Atlanta. Under § 40-6-123, a driver must signal when they are about to change lanes. The signal must be long enough to warn other drivers of what they are about to do. When signaling, a driver must ensure that the lane is completely clear with enough room to safely execute the lane change.
Similarly, Georgia Code § 40-6-48 says that a vehicle shall be driven within a single lane as much as practical. When the driver changes lanes, they must make sure that the movement can be made safely.
What are some circumstances where improper lane change may occur?
- A driver is driving on a two-lane road. They enter the other lane without signaling.
- A driver is driving on a two-lane road. They enter the other lane when there is not enough room because of other traffic.
- Making a change in the middle of an intersection.
- When a driver enters the freeway, they don’t wait to see if there is room to merge into traffic. Other drivers must take evasive action to avoid a collision.
- Driving in the middle of two lanes for longer than necessary.
- Changing multiple lanes at a time without following safe procedures for every change.
- Speeding to execute a lane change around other traffic.
- Cutting someone off to make a lane change.
- Weaving in and out of traffic.
What is an improper lane change?
An improper lane change occurs when a person enters a lane without the right of way. They may not have enough room to enter the lane considering other traffic, or the rules of the road may prohibit the movement. In any circumstance where a person executes a lane change without the legal right and the ability to do so safely, they have made an improper lane change.
How do you prove improper lane change?
To prove improper lane change, you may rely on the following:
- Location of damage on the vehicles
- Witness testimony
- Accident reconstruction
- Location of debris
- Statements from drivers
The location of damages on the vehicle can be telling. The fact that there is damage to the side of a vehicle can mean that a vehicle entered a lane without having the space to do so. However, the answer is not always clear-cut by looking at vehicle damage. To determine fault for a lane change, look at who had the authority to be in the lane and what movement of each driver may have caused the accident to occur.
Is there legal fault for a car accident that occurs because of an improper lane change?
Improper lane change is an example of negligence. When a driver causes an accident by changing lanes, they may be liable to victims for damages. Violation of a traffic law can be strong evidence of negligence, but it is not necessarily determinative.
Lack of due care and caution in any way that leads to an accident can be legal negligence. Entering a lane without enough room to do so is negligence unless exceptional circumstances are present. There may be multiple causes of an accident. A party that contributes to an accident by executing an improper lane change bears legal liability. Other factors may also be considered. A party with legal liability may be responsible for paying a victim for their medical bills, property damages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Attorneys for Improper Lane Change Accidents
Are you the victim of a car crash caused because of an improper lane change? You may deserve financial compensation. Contact our attorneys for improper lane change accidents today to discussyour case.