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Aggressive or Unsafe Lane Changing

Anyone who drives has probably observed another driver who committed a combination of moving traffic offenses that endanger other vehicles on the road. Such aggressive driving is a common problem on the roads of America these days. Unfortunately, large commercial trucks are some of the most frequent perpetrators of aggressive driving offenses. Many truck drivers feel that they rule or own the road because their vehicles are so large. Like other aggressive drivers, they simply don't follow the rules of the road, such as proper passing, not tailgating another vehicle, not weaving in and out of traffic, not speeding, and not signaling before changing lanes. All of these aggressive driving actions can cause accidents resulting from unsafe lane changing, not yielding to the right of way, or making a wide right turn. Only 14 states (Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia) in the country have actually created legislation addressing aggressive driving. Of those 14 states, only 11 states have passed aggressive truck driving laws. It's astounding that Florida is not allowed to enforce their aggressive driving law due to a state statute. Meanwhile California and Utah have edited existing reckless driving laws to include aggressive driving. Pennsylvania passed a resolution against aggressive driving, while the state of New Jersey enforces aggressive driving under its existing laws.

Causes of Aggressive or Unsafe Lane Changing Truck Accidents

These types of accidents are caused by a variety of different factors:

  • Truck Driver fatigue
  • Driver inattentiveness due to fatigue, talking on the phone, changing channels on the radio, etc
  • Not signaling before changing lanes- just zipping out into another lane
  • Not yielding the right of way to other vehicles when required
  • Not coming to a full and complete stop at a stop sign
  • Making a wide right turn that may hog another lane
  • The need to meet time limits on deliveries

Know the Law

The laws of the 14 states mentioned above include the following:

  • Arizona: Speeding, along with at least two of the following: Driver fails to obey a traffic control device such a traffic lights or a blinking caution light, passes on the right of a car out of regular lanes of traffic - such as in the break down lane, unsafe lane change, follows too closely behind another vehicle, failure to yield the right of way; or is simply considered an immediate hazard to another person or vehicle.
  • California: They amended their reckless driving law. Now included in the law is the caveat of “Causing certain bodily injuries to people other than driver, specifically whereas drivers are engaged in speed contests.”
  • Delaware: At least three of the following: Driver fails to obey traffic control device, passes on the right, drives outside the lanes of traffic, follows too closely, fails to yield right of way, fails to signal, fails to stop or yield at signs, passing a stopped school bus, is speeding.
  • Florida: At least two of the following: Driver is speeding, makes unsafe or improper lane change, follows too closely another vehicle, fails to yield the right of way, improperly passes, fails to obey traffic control devices.
  • Georgia: Driver's intent is to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure or obstruct another person or driver, while doing one or more of the following actions: overtaking and passing another vehicle; violating traffic lane markings; following too closely (tailgating), violating signals, lane changing improperly, ignoring slowing or stopping laws; impeding traffic flows; or reckless driving.
  • Indiana: Driver does at least three of the following acts: following another vehicle too closely, unsafe operation of their own vehicle, passing on the right of another vehicle or off of roadway such as in the bread down lane, unsafe stopping or slowing, unnecessary sounding of the horn such as excessive honking, failure to yield, failure to obey traffic control device such as a stop light, speeding, repeatedly flashing their headlights.
  • Maryland: At least three of the following: Driver fails to obey traffic control device such as a stop light or blinking warning light, overtakes and passes another vehicle improperly, passes on right, straddle lanes on roadways, following another vehicle too closely, failure to yield right of way or outright speeding.
  • Nevada: If a driver commits within one mile all of the following: speeding; along with at least two of the following: failure to obey traffic control device/s, passing on the right off of a paved roadway, following too closely behind another vehicle, a lane violation, failure to yield right of way; in addition to creating an immediate hazard for another vehicle or person.
  • New Jersey: If a driver is deemed at the discretion of the officer on patrol to be operating a vehicle in an unsafe manner.
  • North Carolina: Driver is speeding and driving carelessly and heedlessly in a willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others while committing at least two of the following violations: running a stop sign or a red light, passing illegally, failing to yield right of way, following too closely to another vehicle.
  • Pennsylvania: Simply states that drivers must drive courteously and defensively, not aggressively.
  • Rhode Island: Drivers are speeding and committing at least two of the following: failing to obey traffic control device, overtaking another vehicle on the right, driving outside the lanes of traffic, following another vehicle too closely, failing to yield the right of way, entering a roadway unsafely, failing to use turn signals, failing to stop or yield at signs, using an emergency lane for travel.
  • Utah: Reckless driving is defined as a driver's willful and wanton disregard for safety of persons or property OR committing three or more moving violations in a single continuous period of driving.
  • Virginia: When a driver becomes a hazard to others due to their intent to harass, intimidate, injure or obstruct another person while committing at least one of the following: failing to drive on the right side of highway, driving outside of marked lanes, following too closely, failing to yield or not stop before entering roadway, failing to obey traffic control device, passing when overtaking a vehicle improperly or passing on right, failing to yield right of way, speeding, stopping improperly on a highway.

Injuries and Compensation for Aggressive or Unsafe Lane Changing Truck Accidents

Injuries suffered from these types of aggressive driving accidents include broken bones, fractures, comas, concussions, severed limbs, burns, lacerations, other injuries, and even death. Victims of these accidents can sue the defendant for pain and suffering, loss of wages, medical bills, hospital bills, court fees, legal fees, and even funeral costs.

Legal Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in an aggressive or unsafe lane change commercial truck accident, contact a truck accident attorney at Gordon Elias & Seely, L.L.P. for immediate expert legal advice regarding your case.

The content of this website is provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. If you need help with a Truck Accident claim, consult an experienced trucking accident attorney from the law offices of Gordon Elias & Seely, L.L.P. by calling TOLL FREE: 800 - 773 - 6770 OR by filling out the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page.
Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.
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