The state of Florida requires all drivers to drive in the right lane, and if you must make pass a car ahead of you, you must do so in the left lane when you travel through streets, roads and multi-lane highways.
Changing lanes in an unsafe manner is one of the main causes of accidents, so drivers must be very alert at all times. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 9% of all vehicle accidents that occur in the United States are caused by a driver who switched lanes recklessly. Crashes may cause serious injuries because they occur at fast speeds, and a driver is never fully prepared for the impact and effects of a crash.
Many of these accidents are caused by motorists who trying to evade traffic, but there are other causes to consider such as: not using a turn signal prior to changing lanes; not checking all blind spots; driving distracted; driving under the influence; driver fatigue; reckless driving; weather conditions; underestimating the speed at which you approach another vehicle in the parallel lane.
The most common damages caused by an improper lane change are head injuries, spinal injuries, injuries to the neck and back, broken bones, amputations, body disfigurement, paralysis, wounds to the face and death.
One of the best ways to prevent these accidents is to always use a turn signal to alert other drivers of your lane change. Always remember to check the blind spots of the car, and change lanes only one at a time. Do not change lanes while passing through or approaching an intersection. It is important to keep your speed, as increasing it will be unsafe for cars around you. When you are on the highway avoid the far-left lane because that’s where more accidents happen, and do not make passes on the right. Be alert of drivers who are distracted and those under the influence of alcohol or drugs that may not be able to drive safely themselves.
Statistics show that 34,276 people were seriously injured in an accident due to an improper lane change, and approximately 5,940 people have died. This number was published by the Department of Highway and Motor Vehicles in 2016 and shows information for a period of 5 years (2011-2015).
To avoid being another number in this statistic, always remember to use your mirrors and take the recommendations given into account while driving. The safest place to stay is in your lane.