Lane Change Accident – Who’s at Fault?

March 4, 2022

Lane Change Accident – Who’s at Fault?

lane change accident
If you or your loved one were involved in a lane change accident, it might be hard for you to determine whether it was your fault or not. When we change lane, there are usually a lot of quick decisions and it’s hard to keep track whether you’ve taken all the necessary safety precautions. Today we will discuss the liability in lane change accident and who can be at fault when that happens.


From the total number of car accidents in Arizona, lane change accident account for almost 17%. These types of accidents are also known as sideswipe accidents or merge accidents because they happen when you try to merge on the road, and the cause thousands of injuries every single year. From some statistics, every fourth driver admits that they block someone from changing lanes and almost 12% of drivers admit that they have cut off another car. These are pretty serious numbers

Changing lanes and right-of-way

When you’re changing lanes, it can be difficult to tell whether you have the right-of-way or not. But if you know the following two scenarios, you should be able to determine that pretty easily: Changing lanes -If you’re the driver driving straight ahead on the road, you have the right-of-way. So it’s up to the driver who is changing lanes to make sure that he/she does so safely. In he/she doesn’t do so, and in the effort to change lanes hits another vehicle that they are responsible for the lane crash accident. But in case the other driver (the one driving straight) does something that will prevent the other driver to change lanes safely (maybe speed up or slow down) and thus cases an accident, then he/she will be responsible. In situation when there’s merging traffic, so when several lanes merge into one or when one road merges into another, again, the vehicle driving straight has the right-of-way. So it’s up to the merging driver to exercise caution and safety and avoid lane change accident (in this case merging accident).  But if the driver who’s driving straight sees another vehicle that would like to merge, he should either move into another lane or slow down, allowing the other driver to merge with the traffic safely.

What to do in order to avoid lane change accident?

A lane change accident can be cause when someone doesn’t know how to change lanes safely and, in most cases, the accident can be avoided if drivers exercise caution. In order to avoid a lane change accident, we highly recommend that you:
  1. Always use your turn signal and let other drivers know that you intend to change lanes or merge into traffic
  2. Check your review mirror for oncoming traffic
  3. Keep your vehicle at the same speed (don’t speed up or slow down) when merging
  4. Don’t change multiple lanes at once. Do one at a time
  5. Avoid changing lanes marked with solid lines
  6. Avoid changing lanes at intersections
In order to determine if it’s safe to change lanes, you need to estimate the speed of other vehicles in traffic regardless whether they are in front of you or behind you. You need to take into consideration road conditions and weather. So if the circumstances aren’t ideal e.g., the road is slippery from ice, it’s best to maintain a greater distance between cars. And if you’re not sure that you can execute a lane change or merging safely, wait for a safer opportunity and do it then.

If you get involved in a lane change accident in Arizona

If you or your loved one get involved in a lane change accident in Arizona and sustain injuries, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney to represent you, provide legal counsel and support and guidance to recover the compensation you deserve.