Changing Lanes

What are Changing Lanes?

Changing lanes on the road should not be difficult. However, if a lane change is not done legally, the driver may be cited for “unsafe lane change” or even cause an accident.

Lane Change Rules and Regulations

  • Before changing lanes, drivers must provide a continuous “signal of intent” in order to alert other drivers.
  • When changing lanes, failure to use a turn signal may result in a traffic citation.
  • When merging, a driver who fails to use their turn signal and causes an accident may be held liable for damages.

On roads with at least two clearly marked lanes going in the same direction, drivers should make sure they are completely in their own lane. A lane change should only be made when it is possible to do so safely. Even if you don’t see any other vehicles, you should always signal your intentions.

Legally changing lanes entails more than just using a turn signal. Drivers can also break lane change laws if they:

  • Fail to check for other vehicles in their blind spots or mirrors before merging
  • Change lanes and suddenly brake in front of other vehicles
  • Spend too much time driving between two lanes
  • Change lanes without leaving enough space between other vehicles
  • Change lanes in a “Do Not Pass”
  • Change lanes too quickly

After completing the merge or lane change, drivers should also turn off their signal. Drivers should be aware if inclement weather impairs their ability to see on the road. Heavy rain or fog, for example, can make it hard to see other vehicles and their turn signals. In these cases, drivers changing lanes must allow extra time and space before merging.

Changing lanes in an unsafe manner can present a number of hazards. When a driver abruptly changes lanes without signaling, other drivers almost never have enough time to move out of the way, especially in congested areas, and more often than not, an accident will occur. 

If you were involved in an accident due to an improper lane change, contact an attorney for legal help.

When another driver is at-fault for your accident, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses.

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