We’ve all been there: you’re headed to our next destination, and suddenly an onslaught of traffic comes out of nowhere, followed by a massive slowdown. Although vehicles in traffic tend to move at a slow pace, cars and trucks approaching traffic or surprise slowdowns can often lead to dangerous car accidents. When approaching a major traffic clog on a busy roadway, large vehicles that don’t slow down in time or change lanes suddenly can often lead to catastrophic consequences for both themselves and the drivers around them.
In a recent Indiana news report, a major car accident on a local toll road left a teenager dead and several injured. According to a preliminary investigation by Indiana State Police, a semi-truck was heading eastbound when it hit traffic that had accumulated because of a nearby crash. When the semi-truck driver changed lanes as he slowed down, a vehicle hit the back of the tanker-trailer that he was hauling. The driver and two of the vehicle passengers were all airlifted to a local hospital, and another back seat passenger died from his injuries.
In Indiana, when a driver changes lanes suddenly and an accident occurs, it may initially be unclear who is at fault. However, drivers have a responsibility both to their passengers and to other drivers on the road to adhere to local laws and operate their vehicles with safety and caution. When changing lanes, drivers should assess the situation by checking their mirrors, slowing down or speeding up appropriately, and putting drivers around them on notice by using their turn signal before making their lane change. For drivers of large vehicles, such as semi-trucks, ensuring adequate room to make a lane change is crucial.