Unsafe switching of traffic lanes is among the top causes of motorcycle accidents. Since a motorcycle is significantly smaller than a car, it is easy for the former to get in a vehicle’s blindspot as the driver changes lanes.
A car can switch lanes to overtake the front vehicle or avoid a dangerous driver or object. However, there are traffic laws that regulate how and when a driver should change lanes while ensuring road safety. Most importantly, they must thoroughly study their driving environment, indicate appropriately through signals, and watch out for the side and rear vehicles.
When a driver fails to comply with these simple rules, the repercussions can range from a traffic citation to fatal motorcycle crashes. Some of the most common types of motorcycle accidents that occur from unsafe lane switching include the following:
- Rear-end collisions
- Sideswipe accidents
- Head-on collisions
Causes of Drivers Changing Lanes Unsafely
In most cases, unsafe lane changes occur out of the driver’s intentional or gross negligence. The only circumstance that allows a driver to switch lanes suddenly is when swerving to dodge an object or reckless driver. Even then, they have to exercise caution and prevent more harm.
Understanding the causes of risky lane changes can help you as a rider to remain alert while on the road. This information will also be crucial when your Lexington motorcycle accident lawyer is evaluating your case to file for compensation, should a crash occur.
- The driver’s attention is not on the road and they fail to notice a rider or when traffic has slowed
- Improperly aligned or broken side and rearview mirrors
- Fatigue or driving while impaired from alcohol and other drugs
- A driver fails to give other road users the proper signal that they are about to change lanes
- Bad weather that causes poor visibility
- Speeding and other reckless road behavior
If you have suffered a serious motorcycle accident injury resulting from these or other forms of negligence, the driver is liable for your damages.
Serious Motorcycle Accident Injuries Caused by Cars Switching Lanes
According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a motorcycle rider is 27 times more likely to die or suffer serious injuries from an accident, compared to vehicle occupants. This is because of the minimal external protection offered by motorcycles, along with their reduced stability. In addition, the physics behind motorcycle dynamics requires riders to be at a relatively high speed in order to maintain perfect stability. Accidents involving a motorcycle at such speeds are likely to be deadly.
Despite the presence of a protective helmet, riders can still suffer temporary or life-long brain damage from such accidents. This is common among head-on collisions or where a car throws the rider on the road or pavement.
Fractured Bones and Lost Limbs
The impact of a car crash can cause fractured bones, especially on the legs and arms, as well as loss of limbs. This can also happen when a rider falls off the motorcycle and hits other objects on the road. Such injuries often cause life-long disabilities.
Head and Neck Injuries
These occur when a rider is suddenly jerked or hit by a driver who is changing lanes.
Punctures and Lacerations
Both shallow and deep skin cuts and bruises can occur when the rider is thrown off their motorcycle and comes to contact with road debris at a high speed.
Damaged or Bleeding Internal Organs
A rider can suffer internal organ damages from the sudden impact of a vehicle or fall to the ground. These injuries are hard to detect, which is why it is important to seek medical evaluation after a motorcycle accident.
Drive carefully – you can’t afford putting others’ life in danger because of your reckless car lane switching.