Last week, The Madison St. Clair Record reported that a lawsuit was recently filed that claims improper lane usage caused the victims injuries. A St. Clair County driver was injured when another motorist made an illegal unsafe lane change. The negligent driver merged from the right lane of I-64 to the left lane, but there was another car in the left lane and not enough room between the two, resulting in a collision between the automobiles. The victim now suffers from serious neck pain and is asking for over $100,000 to compensate for medical costs as well as a loss of income.
After reading about this case, our Illinois car accident lawyers thought it would be important for our readers to discuss the laws surrounding proper lane changes. The Illinois Rules of the Road repeats several times that drivers should always use their turn signals when they are making a lane change. It is also important for all drivers to understand when you should not pass a car or merge lanes.
There are four types of situations where it is considered to be improper lane usage to pass or merge lanes. The first is when there is a no passing zone, such as a double yellow line (no cars can pass or merge) or a single yellow, single dashed line, which is where only one side of the road can pass or merge. Other no-passing situations include when there is a curve in the road, a double yellow on a hill, or near railroads, bridges, tunnels, and viaducts. Weaving in-between lanes to move faster than traffic flow is also considered unlawful.
From the point of view of a Chicago car accident lawyer, it is also important for drivers to read in the Illinois Rules of the Road about proper ways to change lanes. The Rules dictate that drivers should perform a head check when moving from the right to left and make sure to turn on your left turn signal before carefully moving into the left lane. In the case mentioned above, had the negligent driver followed proper Illinois driving laws, this accident may have been avoided.
Each Chicago accident lawyer in our firm hopes that our readers will remember these safety tips when changing lanes. From our experience, we know that something as simple as a lane change can result in serious, even potentially fatal, consequences. When driving, and changing lanes or merging lanes, it is imperative to stay alert and aware to avoid a collision. If you or a loved one has been involved in this type of accident, please contact us to see if filing a lawsuit may help you receive fair compensation, and peace of mind.