Failure to Maintain Lane Accidents

There are many types of traffic offenses that have the potential to cause serious injuries and property damages. One of these offenses is failure to maintain lane. This charge is made against motorists who have failed to wait until it was safe to change lanes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that there are over 1,000 accidents that occur each year due to a motor vehicle driver’s failure to maintain a lane. If you are involved in an accident involving the failure to maintain lanes, it frequently becomes essential to retain the services of a skilled attorney.

Applicable Georgia Law

Georgia law states a motor vehicle operator must: (1) drive a vehicle as nearly as practicable within one lane, and (2) must not move from this lane until the driver first determines that movement can be made safely. Many drivers assume that failure to maintain lane charges require a driver to have swerved erratically between lanes, but law enforcement in Georgia has been known to raise charges of failure to maintain lane when a motor vehicle driver’s tires barely cross the yellow highway line without first using the proper signals. Drivers must obey all traffic-controlling devices because failure to do so can be used as evidence that the driver failed to maintain a lane. Injured motorists who seek to establish the other’s driver’s negligence must demonstrate that the other driver owed a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused damages. A failure to maintain a lane is generally considered a breach of an individual’s duty to safely operate a motor vehicle.

The driver’s failure to maintain a lane must also be demonstrated to have directly caused the accident in order for an individual to recover compensation. Compensation for these types of accidents can include lost wages and property damage in addition to pain and suffering. In some cases, the family of an individual injured due to a motorist’s failure to maintain a lane can seek compensation for the loss of the victim’s support and company, which is called a “loss of consortium”.

The Role Of Central Lanes In Failure To Maintain Charges

Drivers in Georgia should also understand some additional details about state law concerning failure to maintain a lane. Motor vehicle drivers in the middle lane on a road with three or more lanes have the right of way when overtaking or passing another vehicle. Drivers on these types of multi-lane roads stand a far better chance of having charges reduced if the driver was in the center lane when the driver crossed lane. Because the center lane should only be used for passing other vehicles when it is safe to do so, drivers who remain in the center lane without passing may face charges.

Common Situations In Which Drivers Fail To Maintain Lanes

Some of the most common situations in which failure to maintain lane incidents occur include:

  • Aggressive Drivers. Aggressive drivers often change lanes without first signalling or paying sufficient attention to other drivers.

  • Intoxicated Drivers. Due to impairment from drugs or alcohol, intoxicated drivers tend to weave and cross lanes while operating a motor vehicle. Law enforcement has been known to carefully watch certain areas like heavily visited night clubs in order to enforce failure to maintain lane charges. If an officer pulls an individual over for failure to maintain a lane, law enforcement can then begin to examine for other information that could constitute a driving under the influence charge.

  • Other Types Of Accidents. Some of the other ways that accidents in Georgia occur due to failure to maintain a lane include: a driver’s failure to check blind spots before making a lane change, a driver who changes more than one lane at a time, drivers who use a cell phone to text or talk while driving, drivers who fail to signal prior to making a lane change, drivers who operate a motor vehicle while fatigued, and drivers who change into a lane where the visibility is substantially diminished.

Situations That Does Not Constitute Failure To Maintain A Lane

There are some situations in which a driver’s activity does not constitute failure to maintain a lane. For example, if a deer runs across the road in front of a driver and the driver must swerve out of the way to avoid hitting the deer, the driver will not be found to have failed to maintain a lane.

Consequences Of A Failure To Maintain Lane Charge

Failure to maintain a lane charges can cause motorists to face increased motor vehicle insurance rates, a maximum of penalty of twelve months in jail, up to one thousand dollars in fines, and a three points on an individual’s driver’s license. The accumulation of points can result in a motor vehicle driver facing license suspension and in some cases a motor vehicle might even have their license permanently revoked if too many points are accumulated. Commercial motor vehicle drivers who are charged with failure to maintain a lane can also face suspension of their commercial driver’s license, which can result in significant obstacle in terms of continuing one’s occupation.

The Importance of Accident Reports

Whether you are charged with a failure to maintain lane offense or injured due to another motorist’s failure to adequately maintain lanes, motorists are advised to remain at the scene of the accident in order to provide law enforcement with any available details about how the accident occurred. A report conducted by law enforcement can prove to be quite influential in determining how an accident occurred. If injuries occur due to an accident caused by a failure to maintain a lane, motorists are advised to receive medical assistance at the scene of the accident to make sure that documentation exists detailing any injuries incurred due to the accident.

Discuss Your Case With An Experienced Attorney

If you are faced with a failure to maintain a lane charge or are injured due to another motorist’s failure to maintain lanes, the legal counsel at Angell Law Firm LLC has extensive experience helping individuals who are involved in these types of situations. Our skilled legal counsel can provide individuals with the strong representation needed in these types of cases. We are familiar with how these charges are made and can aggressively help you pursue adequate compensation.