Anytime a vehicle leaves its designated lane, there is a significant chance that a dangerous collision will occur with another car. According to statistics published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), over 18,000 individuals died in departure crashes in 2013 alone when a driver left his or her lane and either crossed the center line into oncoming traffic or went off the outside edge of the road. Lane departures are so dangerous because they often result in head-on collisions, which are the most deadly type of car crash. Head-on collisions often happen when both vehicles are in motion, so the impact can be greater and can cause severe or even fatal injuries.
One accident that recently happened in Lecanto, Florida demonstrates just how serious lane departure accidents can be. On Monday, July 27th, a 22-year-old couple was driving with their three-year-old daughter when their Suzuki left its lane and crossed over the center line. A Prius driven by a 15-year-old and carrying four passengers of various ages slammed into the Suzuki, causing both vehicles to depart the roadway. Both of the young parents were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident and their daughter was transported to the hospital with serious injuries. All five of the occupants of the Prius also sustained serious injuries and a 78-year-old passenger died from her injuries at the hospital.
Common causes of lane departures
In the above tragic accident, the Florida Highway Patrol has not yet determined what caused the driver of the Suzuki to depart from her lane. However, the following are some of the most common causes of this type of dangerous accident:
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving;
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol;
- Falling asleep at the wheel;
- Sudden tire blow out;
- Steering failure;
- Swerving to avoid another vehicle that suddenly slows down or comes into the lane; and
- Hitting a pothole or other road hazard that causes a driver to lose control.
In many cases, a lane departure accident occurs due to the negligence of the driver who left his or her lane, however, this is not always the case. This type of collision can also result from the negligence of manufacturers for selling defective car parts or of a government entity for failing to properly maintain roadways. It is highly important to determine the cause of an accident in this type of case if you wish to seek recovery for your injuries and losses by filing a personal injury lawsuit. If you have lost a loved one in a lane departure accident, you can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim.
Call an Ocala auto accident lawyer for a free consultation today
At the Piccin & Glynn in Ocala, Florida, we have been pursuing the legal rights and best interests of injured victims for more than 40 years. We understand how to handle all types of auto accident, personal injury, and wrongful death accidents and provide free consultations to discuss your accident. Please call us at 352-558-8480 if you have suffered injury.