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Improper Lane Changes Can Lead to Auto Accidents By Lynn Harris on April 30, 2017

Traffic on a busy highwayChanging lanes and merging into or out of traffic are things commuters do every day. Most times these things are done safely and without incident. Yet there are many accidents that occur that are the direct result of unsafe or improper lane changes. In a major population center like Salt Lake City, these kinds of serious and potentially fatal car accidents can happen quite often.

We'd like to turn our attention to these kinds of auto accidents. Let's consider why people may change lanes in an unsafe manner and what you can do to be a more attentive and responsible driver.

Common Causes of Improper Lane Changes

There are many reasons why a person may change lanes in an unsafe way. Before we get into more specific issues, here are some broad reasons why this happens that are common to a wide variety of accidents:

  • Texting while driving
  • Driver distraction
  • Inattentive driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Speeding

Now let's tackle some specific examples of improper lane changing and merging.

Failure to Use Signals and Blinkers

Using your blinkers to turn and merge is an obvious act of courtesy and safety. Your blinkers signal your intentions to other drivers around you. Many people fail to use their blinkers in this sensible way.

Always be attentive while on the road, and use blinkers before you change lanes. If a blinker light is out, make sure it's replaced. In the meantime, you can use hand signals when prudent to do so.

Failure to Use Side and Rearview Mirrors

Side mirrors and rearview mirrors can be a real lifesaver, especially when traffic is fast and busy around you. After signaling to others your intentions to merge with your blinkers, be sure to check your rearview mirror and side mirrors for drivers and other potential hazards that are nearby.

Failure to Check Blind Sports

Your rearview and side mirrors can only show you so much of the surrounding traffic. Vehicles also tend to have blindspots that cannot be seen in the mirrors. Before actually moving into another lane, be sure to check your blindspots. This can prevent a collision with a motor vehicle you may have missed.

Changing Lanes Too Frequently

Sometimes you'll notice a motorist driving very aggressively. One of the telltale signs of this is frequent lane changes, darting around vehicles to overtake them and get ahead of traffic. This kinds of zigging and zagging puts many motorists at risk, and it may not save you as much time as you think. While on the road, avoid frequent lane changes to protect yourself, your passengers, and those around you.

Suddenly Cutting Across Multiple Lanes

You may be driving and have to make a left turn soon yet are in the far right lane; or perhaps you're in the far left lane on the highway and your exit is a quarter mile away. Some people may suddenly cut diagonally across multiple lanes in traffic to make their turn or exit. This puts countless people's lives at risk.

To avoid this issue, try to be attentive about your turns and exits. If you realize your turn or exit is coming up and it's too late to safely change lanes, just veer off at the next opportunity and reroute your trip. Better to be safe than sorry.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

For more information about your legal rights following a serious motor vehicle collision, be sure to contact an experienced personal injury attorney today. The team at our firm will work with you in your time of legal need.

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Lynn C. Harris

Lynn C. Harris

Lynn Harris is a personal injury attorney dedicated to helping victims rebuild their lives. He does not collect compensation unless you do. Mr. Harris is part of the Jones Waldo law firm, which has five locations in four cities in Utah:

  • Park City
  • Lehi
  • Salt Lake City
  • Provo

He can arrange to meet you at the location nearest you. If you or a loved one has been injured, reach out to our firm online or call (801) 375-9801 today.

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