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Lane Change And Lane Departure Accidents


When it comes to car accidents, intersections are certainly dangerous. But they aren’t the only places car accidents happen. They also happen in lane change (or lane departure) accidents, its own breed of car accident with its own set of complexities and difficulties.

Why and How Do They Happen?

Lane departure accidents can happen for a lot of reasons. Often, they happen for the same reason any kinds of car accidents happen, like drunk driving, or distracted driving.

But lane change accidents are unique, because even just a slight departure from a lane—especially with the narrow or construction-filled roads that tend to dot the South Florida landscape–can cause a lane departure accident, even if the driver is not distracted or drunk.

Over Correction

One big risk of lane departure accidents isn’t departing from the lane. It is often the correction, or over-correction. When a car departs from its lane, the driver often will instinctively, realizing the car is too far into the adjacent lane, dramatically veer the car into the opposite direction.

That means that a lane departure to the left, can often end up with an accident on the right, as the driver over-corrects.

Speed and Other Dangers

Lane change accidents are also often very dangerous, because they often happen at high speeds. With some intersection accidents, the speed of the cars may be very low; one or both cars may be at or near being completely stopped.

But with a lane departure accident, both cars may be going at a high speed. That means that even a slight intrusion into an adjacent lane, or a slight contact with a nearby car, can end up with cars veering off the road, or toppling over, upside-down, by the time the accident is over.

Of course, that’s when all lanes of travel are going in the same direction. But on two lane roads, where both lanes are going different directions, a lane change can be absolutely and immediately fatal; they are akin to a head on collision when a car veers into a lane where traffic is going in the opposite direction.

With elevated highways, a lane change accident can cause a car to “jump” a sidewall or barrier, sending a car careening to the ground below.

If the car veers off the road where there is no other lane–for example, veering to the right when you’re driving in a right hand lane–the vehicle can easily collide with trees, barriers, or other objects.

Safety Systems

The good news is that many cars today come with systems that try to keep the driver within the lanes. Many systems will warn the driver when the car is leaving its lane, or even take control of the car and correct it automatically, to keep it within a lane. While that may not stop a drunk driver, for the causal driver that just loses attention for a second, these systems can save lives.

Have you been in a lane change accident?  Call the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Joseph Linnehan, Jr. today at 617-275-4200 for help.




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