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Pittsburgh Unsafe Lane Change Accident Attorney

Unsafe lane changes. These three words can trigger any motorist in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Pennsylvania who has been in the situation where another vehicle swerved into their lane with no warning or when the maneuver was not safe to execute.

In fact, unsafe lane changes, also known as “illegal lane changes,” account for a staggering nearly 10 percent of all car accidents in the United States, which is roughly 530,000 car crashes annually.

Unsafe lane change accidents in Pennsylvania

“Although motorcyclists are more likely to become victims of motor vehicle collisions caused by illegal lane changes, because many drivers of passenger cars fail to notice motorcycles traveling beside or behind them due to blind spots, passenger cars are just as likely to be involved in this type of collision,” says a Pittsburgh unsafe lane change accident attorney from Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman.

As the traffic congestion in and around Pittsburgh gets heavier by the year, the risk of becoming a victim of a car crash caused by a driver illegally merging into your lane rises proportionately.

What happens after a car illegally switches lanes?

When a motorist performs an unsafe lane change, it can lead to either of the three scenarios:

  1. The car or motorcycle traveling beside or behind that car avoids a collision thanks to the driver’s fast reaction times;
  2. The car collides with a car or motorcycle traveling in the same lane; or
  3. The car prompts a car or motorcycle traveling in the same lane to swerve into an adjacent lane, where it collides with a third vehicle (“In this scenario, the vehicle that changed lanes unsafely remains untouched by other vehicles,” explains our experienced unsafe lane change accident attorney Pittsburgh).

Causes of car accidents caused by illegal lane changes

Causes of motor vehicle crashes caused by unsafe lane changes vary from one case to another, though these accidents are commonly caused by the following negligent and dangerous driving behaviors:

  • Failure to use a turn signal prior to changing lanes or failure to warn other motorists of one’s intention to switch lanes in any other manner;
  • Failure to notice a vehicle in the adjacent lane;
  • Failure to properly assess the speed of an approaching vehicle in the adjacent lane;
  • Failure to properly check blind spots prior to switching lanes;
  • Illegally changing lanes at intersections;
  • Getting distracted behind the wheel;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Road rage or aggressive driving;
  • Falling asleep behind the wheel;
  • Speeding;
  • Poor road conditions (which prompt the driver to perform an illegal lane changing maneuver);
  • Changing more than one lane at a time; and
  • Changing into a lane where visibility is diminished or obstructed.

Liability for a car accident caused by illegal lane change

Under Pennsylvania law, motorists are prohibited from changing lanes or turning until it is reasonably safe to execute the lane changing maneuver. Prior to switching lanes, a motorist has an obligation to use turn signals or alert other motorists of one’s intention to change lanes in any other manner (for example, if the driver’s turn signals are not working properly).

More often than not, the motorist who performed an illegal lane change will be held responsible for any damages and losses it caused to other drivers and motorcyclists as a result of that maneuver. However, when multiple vehicles are involved, determining liability becomes much more complex, which is why hiring a Pittsburgh illegal lane change accident lawyer is highly advised to ensure that you recover the amount of damages that you truly deserve.

Get a free consultation by contacting our car accident lawyers at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman. Call at 888-98-TWINS(89467) today.

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