Changing lanes on a road or highway in Nebraska is a dangerous maneuver that could result in a car accident if not executed safely and properly. If the driver changing lanes does not check for other vehicles, obey the speed limit or use the correct lane change techniques, he or she could cause a sideswipe accident or rear-end collision. Learn who is typically liable for these collisions to pursue compensation in Nebraska.
How to Properly Change Lanes in Nebraska
Under Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6,139, a driver must keep a vehicle within a single lane and should not move from that lane until the driver has ascertained that the movement can be made safely. A safe lane change means that it can be executed without colliding with other drivers or creating a dangerous situation, such as cutting off a driver. The steps for making a safe and prudent lane change are:
- Check your mirrors to see if someone is already in the destination lane. If there is a driver in the lane, wait for him or her to pass or slow down enough to give you room to change lanes.
- Don’t rely only on your mirrors. All vehicles have blind spots, or places on the road that you cannot see in your mirrors. Briefly look over your shoulder to make sure the destination lane is clear before moving.
- Use your turn signal. Turn on the appropriate turn signal based on which direction you are changing lanes. Warning drivers in advance with your turn signal can help prevent a collision.
- Give yourself enough room. Make sure there is enough room for your vehicle in the destination lane before moving. Other drivers that are already in the lane should not have to hit their brakes to accommodate you.
- Safely change lanes. Once you have ascertained that it is safe to do so, match the speed of the cars in the destination lane and carefully change lanes.
A driver should never change lanes in the middle of an intersection or at a red light or stop sign. A driver also should not change lanes at a high speed or change lanes too frequently (weaving in and out of traffic). Changing lanes in a dangerous or reckless manner can make the driver financially responsible for a related car accident in Nebraska.
Who Is Liable for a Lane Change Accident?
The person who is liable, or who can be held accountable, for a lane change accident depends on the circumstances of the crash. In Nebraska, the driver or party at fault for the collision is who pays for bodily injuries and property damage. The victim or victim’s attorney has to prove the other party is more likely to be at fault than not at fault using clear and convincing evidence.
Fault for a lane change accident often goes to the driver who attempted to change lanes. It is this driver’s responsibility to prevent collisions by switching lanes slowly, safely and in accordance with state laws. If this individual fails to use a turn signal or makes an unsafe lane change, he or she can be held responsible for the crash. You or your lawyer may need to talk to witnesses, analyze photographs or video footage, and recreate the accident to determine who caused the crash.
What to Do After a Lane Change Accident
If you get into a lane change accident in Nebraska, stay calm and pull over at the scene of the crash. Call 911 to report the accident to law enforcement immediately. Exchange information with the other driver. Write down the names of any eyewitnesses. Before you leave the scene of the crash, take photographs. Then, go directly to a hospital for professional medical care. If you suffered injuries or property damage in the lane change accident, consult with an attorney about filing a claim against the other driver. An Omaha car accident attorney can help you determine and prove liability.