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What Are the Causes of Lane-Drift Accidents?

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We’ve all seen drivers in neighboring lanes on the road or freeway slowly drift out of their lane. Sometimes this can be a sign of nothing but a momentary lapse of attention, but lane drift can also be a sign of a much more serious issue. One safety group recently looked at the most frequent causes of lane-drift accidents.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently published the results of its examination of the most common causes of lane-drift crashes. The IIHS conducted its study using data gathered by federal authorities on crashes believed to have resulted from a driver departing from their lane of traffic in 2014, as well as eyewitness testimony and crime scene evidence on these crashes. Of the 631 lane-drift collisions studied, 125 caused serious or fatal injuries.

Among all lane-drift accidents studied, 34% were the result of the driver becoming incapacitated, either by falling asleep (17%) or some other reason, such as a heart attack, diabetic shock, or drug or alcohol use (17%). Driver incapacity was a factor in 42% of all auto accidents involving serious or fatal injuries. An additional 8% of all lane-drift crashes were caused by a drunk driver who was conscious at the time of the crash. 22% were caused by a distracted driver.

While not all lane-drift crashes will result in liability for the driver who departed from their lane, driver incapacity may not always be a defense to liability for a crash. If a driver was impaired or incapacitated by alcohol use or by taking prescription medication known to them to cause drowsiness, they could be held liable for making the reckless decision to get behind the wheel. Additionally, if a driver was aware that they had a condition that could cause them to lose consciousness without warning, and they had experienced such losses of consciousness in the past or failed to take the medications necessary to treat their condition, that driver could be held liable for any injuries caused by a resulting crash. A skilled New York car accident attorney can conduct the factual investigation necessary to determine the causes of a lane-drift crash and your possible entitlement to money damages.

If you’ve been injured in a New York car accident and need help determining if you have a claim for damages, contact the knowledgeable and seasoned personal injury lawyers at Ingber & Provost for a consultation at 845-733-2720, with offices conveniently located across the Hudson Valley, in Bloomingburg, Poughkeepsie, and Pine Bush.