Lane Merging Near Trucks Can Result in an Accident
Illinois is cracking down on the number of people driving in the left lane on highways. It is the law that the left lane should be used for passing only and not for idle driving. However, there are times when cars need to be in the left lane – such as a left exit ramp – and so do trucks.
The best way to avoid a truck accident while merging lanes on the highway is to make sure you are not in the truck driver’s blind spots. Most truck drivers have a sign on the back of their vehicle reading “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” Motorists should keep this in mind every time they drive near trucks to avoid going undetected while passing.
Truck drivers need to also be aware of where their left-sided exit ramp is on the highway and be prepared for smaller vehicles passing on the left before they move over. If the driver does not check their mirrors and turn on their indicator light before moving, they could be putting another driver’s life at risk.
How Are Police Cracking Down on Left Lane Drivers?
A report from Illinoispolicy.org that published at the beginning of 2019 announced that Illinois police were going to start heavily enforcing laws against drivers using the left lane without passing slower traffic.
The law says that the left lane may only be used for passing slower vehicles, which should be driving in the right lane. Drivers may not simply travel in the left lane unless there is:
- Roadway congestion;
- Left-side exit ramps;
- Obstacles in the road;
- Merging traffic; or
- An emergency vehicle parked on the right shoulder.
Violating the left lane law – whether you are in a car or a truck – will result in a $120 traffic ticket.
Is a Truck Driver At-Fault for Lane Merging Accidents?
Large trucks are not always to blame for accidents that occur on the highways. If the driver of the truck checks their mirrors for a clear merge and uses their indicator light, there is a good chance they will not be liable for the accident.
There are many variables that a court may consider when assigning liability for a truck accident:
- Were both drivers coherent or did they appear to be under the influence?;
- What were the weather conditions and the condition of the road?;
- Did the truck driver check the mirrors before merging?;
- Was the motorist speeding to pass the truck more quickly?; and
- Did the truck try to merge while traveling through an intersection?
If it is determined that the truck driver was trying to merge into the left lane dangerously, they may be responsible for the injuries caused by the accident.
Contact an Orland Park, IL Truck Accident Lawyer
Because a truck is so much bigger than a normal car, serious injuries can be sustained if a collision occurs. A victim should hire a lawyer to investigate and gather all the relevant information needed to make sure they establish liability and get the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation with a DuPage County truck accident lawyer from Schwartz Injury Law, call 708-226-9000.