Improper Lane Change
Lane changing is one of the most basic maneuvers a driver will make while behind the wheel. Although it may seem like a very simple task, there are actually a number of things that need to be taken into consideration before making a lane change. Failure to do so could result in an accident or, at the very least, a traffic violation
Understanding Unsafe Lane Changes
One of the most frequent causes of accidents is improper lane changes. When you change lanes, you need to signal to other drivers what your intentions are, check your mirrors to make sure it’s safe, and then execute the lane change smoothly.
You also need to be aware of other drivers who may be trying to change lanes at the same time as you. Failing to do any of these things can easily lead to an accident.
Drivers May Be Held Liable
If you cause an accident because you changed lanes improperly, you will likely be found at fault. This means that you will be responsible for paying for any damages that occur as a result of the accident.
If you have insurance, your policy will likely cover some or all of the costs associated with the accident. If you don’t have insurance, you will be responsible for paying for all of the damages out of your own pocket.
Illegal or Unsafe Lane Change
Unsafe lane changes are among the most frequent infractions leading to traffic tickets on the streets and highways of Raleigh. Police and North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers will not hesitate to pull over a driver who commits an illegal lane change.
What Is An Improper Lane Change?
By law, you are required to use your turn signals before making a lane change, early enough to alert other drivers of the maneuver. Failure to signal, both when moving to the passing lane and when returning to the right lane, is grounds for a traffic stop.
You can also be ticketed if you change lanes without keeping a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you and behind. Many drivers receive tickets for not observing restrictions on lane changes in construction zones.
Common Unsafe Lane Changes
Improper lane changes are among the most common unsafe driving behaviors. Here are some examples of an unsafe lane change:
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Cutting off another driver when changing lanes
- Changing lanes without checking mirrors or blind spot
- Swerving in and out of lanes
- Failing to yield the right of way when changing lanes
- Making an illegal lane change (e.g., on a freeway off-ramp)
How to Avoid Unsafe Lane Changes
The best way to avoid getting into an accident is to avoid making unsafe lane changes. Here are some tips for avoiding unsafe lane changes:
- Use your turn signal early and often to let other drivers know your intentions
- Check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes
- Make sure there is enough space between you and other cars before changing lanes
- Be patient and wait for an opportunity to change lanes safely
- Don’t make any sudden or illegal lane changes
Is It Illegal To Change Lanes In An Intersection In NC?
No, you are not allowed to change lanes within an intersection in North Carolina. You must signal your intention to change lanes and then wait until you have safely cleared the intersection before changing lanes.
Improper Lane Change Ticket Cost
Most tickets for an illegal lane change will cost the driver around $1,000 and in a majority of cases, it is a 2-point infraction in the point system which can result in a 45% insurance premium surcharge.
Also, traffic school may be mandated. If the ticket leaves you with more than 12 points in 3 years, your license may be suspended.
An experienced attorney can help you challenge the ticket and avoid these consequences.
How To Beat An Improper Lane Change Ticket
If you have been ticketed for an unsafe lane change, you may be able to beat the ticket by showing that you were not actually in violation of the law. For example, if you were changing lanes in an intersection in order to make a turn, you would not be guilty of an improper lane change.
You may also be able to beat the ticket by showing that the officer who ticketed you made a mistake. For example, if the officer mistakenly wrote down the wrong make and model of your car, you may be able to get the improper lane change ticket dismissed.
An experienced traffic lawyer will know how to challenge tickets for unsafe lane changes and give you the best chance of winning your case.
Dedicated Legal Counsel
Our determined legal team has helped individuals and families with thousands of lane change tickets and criminal cases and assisted countless others with their differing legal needs. Serving clients throughout The Triangle of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, we fight aggressively to help those in need. We offer a free consultation and affordable rates to help you pursue the just outcome you deserve.
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The Law Offices of J.M. Kotzker will can review the specifics of your case and develop a strategic approach to the situation. We are adept at effectively fighting speeding tickets and red light tickets and tickets or charges relating to high speed violations, reckless driving, illegal/unsafe lane changes, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and passing a stopped school bus. Read more about traffic tickets…