The freeway and highway systems in New Jersey are becoming increasingly more crowded. With motorists traveling at high rates of speed on highways, merger accidents and lane changing crashes can occur. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nine percent of all traffic accidents in the country involve merging and lane changing. This type of wreck can be serious and even fatal, especially when the crash occurs on highways and freeways.
The New Jersey State Police are investigating a serious crash on the Turnpike that left one person critically injured. Around 3:35 p.m. on November 9, a 64-year-old Paulsboro man was driving a Chrysler Town & Country minivan southbound on the Turnpike. When the minivan traveled from the center lane to the right lane, it struck a Toyota Avalon. As a result of the impact, the Chrysler veered left into the guardrail, veered right again, and overturned.
The driver of the Chrysler was trapped inside the minivan. He sustained an open compound fracture to his right arm and other injuries. He was extricated by the New Brunswick and East Brunswick Fire Department and was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. Her female passenger, 53, suffered a bruise to her head.
In merging and changing lane collision cases, the driver changing lanes is often at fault. Motorists should drive their vehicle as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane, and should not move their vehicle from their lane until they are certain that the maneuver can be completed safely.
However, determining fault in this type of accidents is not always easy, even when the driver moving from one lane to another is initially presumed at fault. All motorists have a responsibility to avoid collisions. While a driver has a responsibility to change lanes safely, the other driver also has a responsibility to slow down when he sees another driver trying to change lanes.
If both drivers in this serious crash are found negligent by failing to pay full attention to the road, they may share liability. Negligence claims arising from merging or lane changing accidents are best handled by an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney.