What Causes Lane Departure Accidents?
Drifting from your lane on the road can happen with just a momentary lapse in attention. While most of us catch ourselves before damage can be done in the form of an accident, lane-departure or lane-drift accidents are fairly common, and can result in serious injuries. Read on to learn more about lane-departure accidents and their causes.
Lane-departure accidents can take many forms. A single car leaving the roadway, head-on collisions, or sideswipes can all result from a driver drifting from their lane of traffic. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently conducted a study on the causes of lane-departure accidents. The organization used data gathered by federal authorities on 631 lane-departure accidents that had been reported to police, along with crash scene evidence and eyewitness accounts, to determine the causes of these accidents. Some of their findings included the following:
- 125 of these accidents resulted in serious or fatal injuries.
- 34% of all lane-departure accidents occurred after the driver became incapacitated.
- 42% of all lane-departure crashes resulting in serious injury or death resulted from driver incapacity.
- 17% of the incapacity-related crashes stemmed from a driver falling asleep behind the wheel, with the remaining 17% resulting from the driver being incapacitated for some other reason, such as diabetic shock, seizure, heart attack, or intoxication by alcohol or drugs.
- 22% of all lane-drift crashes were caused by a distracted driver, and 8% were caused by an intoxicated, but conscious, driver.
Certain driver incapacity accidents are entirely unavoidable for the incapacitated driver. However, many can be prevented, and the at-fault driver can be held legally responsible for the injuries caused while they were incapacitated. For example, if a commercial truck driver has worked longer than the legally-permitted shift and gotten too little sleep in the process, the driver and his or her employer can be held liable if that driver falls asleep and causes a serious accident. Likewise, drivers who know that taking a certain prescription medication will make them drowsy or otherwise unsafe behind the wheel, but who nevertheless decides to drive, can be held liable for accidents they cause after becoming incapacitated. A skilled Kentucky personal injury lawyer can investigate these types of accidents to determine whether you may be entitled to money damages for another driver’s reckless behavior.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident in Kentucky, contact the experienced, determined, and effective Georgetown personal injury lawyer Jeremy M. Mattox for a consultation on your case, at 502-867-6766.