There are many roads leading into Fort Lauderdale and throughout the city that require merging. Travelers come from Miami, Boca Raton, Pembroke Pines, and other South Florida regions. Millions of people visit Fort Lauderdale from other states and through the local ports every year. Many of the Interstate roads (75, 95, and 595), US highways (1, 27, and 441), along with the turnpike, Rainbow Interchange, and the Sawgrass Expressway have multiple lanes of traffic.
Some drivers need to merge to enter new roads from other roads. Drivers need to merge into other lanes whenever construction work is taking place. Many drivers merge into other lanes of traffic to go faster or to get off the correct exit ramp. The common danger of any merge action is that two vehicles cannot occupy the same spot at the same time. One driver always has to make room for another driver or the other driver needs to wait until the first driver passes them by.
What factors do drivers need to consider when they merge?
Merging accidents are especially dangerous when a car is trying to merge into a lane that has a truck in the lane. Merging requires that a driver:
- Look to the side and behind them to see what traffic is coming
- Look in front to see that they have enough room to speed up after the merge is complete
- Estimate how fast they are traveling
- Estimate how fast the cars around them are traveling
- Estimate the amount of room needed to make a safer merge
What are the different types of merging accidents on Fort Lauderdale roads?
Merging actions involve an attempt by one vehicle to enter another lane of travel. Cars enter other lanes for the following reasons:
- They’re coming from an off-ramp
- They’re coming from another road that merges into a second road
- They’re forced to change lanes because the road they’re on is ending
- They want to change lanes because the traffic in front of them is going too slowly or too fast
- They’re entering a road from a parking lot or from the shoulder of a road
Merging accidents generally happen in the following ways:
- A rear-end accident. This type of accident can occur if a car in lane one (car A) tries to merge into lane two and the car in the rear of car A (car B) in lane one strikes Car A because A didn’t complete the merge. A rear-end accident can also occur if the car in lane one (Car A) does move into lane two but doesn’t have enough room for the merge – causing a car in lane two (Car C) to strike Car A – in the rear in lane two.
- Blind spot accidents. These South Florida accidents occur when the car trying to merge fails to observe his/her blind spots. Generally, cars that merge should use their rear-view or side mirrors to look for nearby vehicles. Checking the mirrors may not be enough. Some newer cars have sensors to alert the driver of nearby vehicles.
- Truck accidents. A car trying to merge into a lane that has trucks in the lane should be extra cautious. Likewise, trucks that are attempting to merge should be extra cautious too. The length of a truck makes it harder for the car driver and the truck driver to see around the truck. Trucks also need much more time and distance to stop than cars. Cars are simply no match for the size and heaviness of a truck.
- This type of accident is often catastrophic or deadly. When one vehicle strikes another vehicle during a merge, one or both cars can spin out of control – possibly striking other cars or obstacles.
What are the causes of merging accidents in Fort Lauderdale?
At Yeboah Law Group, we work to show how the merging accident happened and why the defendants should be held accountable. Merging accidents are usually caused due to one or more of the following reasons:
- Failure to yield the right of way. This is common when you’re traveling in a roundabout, but it can also happen when existing or entering a highway.
- Generally the car that is trying to enter a new lane must yield to drivers in other lanes.
- Not adjusting the driver’s speed in order to complete the merge. Normally, the car that is trying to move into another lane needs to speed up in order to get ahead of drivers in the alternate lane or slow down so the drivers in the alternate lane can pass.
- Not being aware of the cars behind the driver who wants to merge. Drivers who slow down too much may be rear-ended by a car from behind when the rear car also wants or needs to merge.
- Driving while distracted. Drivers who are texting while driving, looking at an entertainment display, eating. or listening to other passengers are not focused on the merge.
- Failing to observe turn signals. Drivers in the rear of a car that is merging can slam into the merging car if they miss seeing the front driver’s turn signal. Many drivers who merge fail to turn on their turn signal because they’re focused on the merge.
- Merging across multiple lanes. Drivers should merge one lane at a time. Drivers in a first lane who try to move over into a third lane in one move are likely not using their turn signals and not yielding the right of way.
- Drivers who are too close to a driver in front may make it difficult for the driver in front to move into another lane and to stay comfortably in their own lane of traffic.
Another common cause of merging accidents is road rage. Some drivers don’t like that another driver is cutting into their lane and purposely speed up or slow down to prevent the merge. This can lead to serious merging accidents.
At Yeboah Law Group, our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers understand the unique challenges in proving liability when a merging accident happens. We demand full compensation for your PIP benefits and for your economic and personal damages (including pain and suffering) if you qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit. To discuss your rights after a merging accident in Fort Lauderdale, call us now at 1-800.TELL.SAM or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.