Merging into another lane can be tricky, especially if one of the drivers is distracted and neglects to slow down or speed up to accommodate the merging vehicle. In most cases, the merging car is to blame for these types of accidents, however there are some instances when that is not the case.
If you have been injured in a merging accident, speak to a qualified attorney today from our team at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy. We can discuss your rights and how we might be able to provide assistance if you have a case.
Causes Of Merging Accidents
Merging accidents are some of the most common motor vehicle accidents in Ohio. Drivers who are involved in merging accidents often have trouble judging the distance between their vehicle and the approaching vehicle in the lane they are merging into.
Merging accidents are often caused by the following:
- One vehicle cutting off another
- Merging too slowly from the on-ramp
- Crossing more than one travel lane at one time
- Making a lane change without using a turn signal
- Merging too quickly from the on-ramp
Injuries Sustained In These Accidents
Depending on the speed of the vehicles involved, the injuries drivers and passengers could suffer could wind up being serious. Even a merging accident at a slow rate of speed can result in minor injuries to one or more of the people traveling in the cars involved.
Some examples of injuries that can be sustained in merging accidents include the following:
- Injuries to the spinal cord
- Cuts and other lacerations
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Who Is To Blame?
In many of these accidents the driver of the merging vehicle is the one who is found to be at-fault for the crash. The vehicle merging onto the highway is required to yield, which is why there is a yield sign at the end of the on-ramp. Failing to operate a vehicle at the proper speed or striking a vehicle already on the highway could result in the merging driver being held liable for the crash.
However, there are exceptions when the merging driver may not be at fault. It is possible that the driver already on the highway could intentionally strike the merging vehicle if her or she felt the merging car cut him or her off. Another exception could be the vehicle changing lanes when the merging vehicle comes onto the highway.
In other circumstances where there are multiple vehicles involved, two or more drivers could be held liable such as:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to signal
- Drinking and driving
- Drug use
How To Avoid These Accidents?
As common as merging accidents are, they can also be easily avoided. How? For starters, if all drivers simply followed the rules of the road, merging accidents would not be nearly as common as they are today. Since this is impossible, here are some other tips for avoiding merging accidents:
- Use a gradual merge method: Merge gradually into traffic. This helps keep other drivers at a distance and does not startle them into thinking you are going to cut them off.
- Keep a safe distance: Leave distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. When you leave space, you allow merging vehicles the chance to merge into traffic.
- Use turn signals: Always use your turn signals. This goes for switching lanes of travel and when merging onto the highway.
- Switch lanes: If possible, switch lanes when you come upon an on-ramp on the highway. Moving your vehicle out of the merging lane makes it easier for merging vehicles to merge without getting into an accident.
Injured In A Merging Accident? Speak To An Experienced Attorney
Have you been injured in a merging accident? If so, you can speak to a Cincinnati car accident attorney about what happened. We have helped many auto accident victims recover compensation for damages. Call the office of O’Connor, Acciani & Levy today to schedule a free consultation. We will work to protect your rights and help you pursue compensation for your injuries.