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Changing Lanes Leads To Tragedy


When the driver of an Acura attempted a lane change in Woodlawn, Maryland, it brushed the corner of another vehicle in the adjacent lane. It could have ended up as just a fender-bender; it could have wound up with the drivers of both vehicles pulling to the side of the road and exchanging information that would later be untangled by the insurance companies.  But this “fender bender” was different. The impact of that minor brush caused the Acura to slam into a nearby work zone, causing death and destruction.  Tragically, six roadside workers were killed on that fateful day.

Improper Lane Change 

Drivers make thousands of lane changes every year.  It is such a common act that it is often done with little thought at all. But as the Woodlawn experience demonstrates, changing lanes is serious business, and requires attentive and safe actions each and every time a driver attempts the move. 

Why Improper Lane Changes Occur 

Perhaps it’s because they happen with such regularity that drivers fail to take lane changes seriously.  But that endangers everyone on the road.  Why are so many improper lane changes occurring every day?  There are plenty of reasons:

  • Drivers simply forget to use their signals before attempting a lane change.
  • Mirrors may be improperly aligned, limiting a driver’s view;
  • Drivers neglect to check the blind spot prior to changing lanes.
  • Multiple lanes are traversed in one swift movement.
  • Debris or road hazards cause drivers to swerve out of their lanes.
  • Distractions take drivers’ mind and eyes off the road during a lane change.
  • In attempting to make a last-minute lane change they zoom across lanes.
  • Impaired visibility due to weather conditions make lane changes hazardous.

Staying Safe 

Pedestrians, construction workers, and other people on the roadside have little protection if a vehicle comes barreling their way.  That’s not true for people in vehicles, however.  We know that collisions can lead to all kinds of injuries, from mere bumps and contusions to broken bones, lacerations, internal injuries, or spinal and brain injuries. The possibility of these kinds of serious injuries is significantly lessened when drivers and their passengers are securely seat-belted, and when children are using appropriate car seats or booster seats.

Maryland Statute 

According to Maryland law, drivers may not change lanes until they’ve reasonably determined that it is safe to do so. Drivers who navigate improper lane changes are subject to tickets, fines, and points on their drivers’ license if the lane change occurs without incident.  If an accident occurs, especially one that involves injuries or fatalities, the consequences are much greater, and could even lead to a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Victims of Recklessness

 If you or a loved one experience serious injuries or death due to a driver’s negligence or recklessness, you may be entitled to damages to address costs associated with the incident, including medical bills, lost wages, and more.  To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation with the competent and aggressive Baltimore personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes today.



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