You can certainly get ticketed for making an unsafe lane change. One way that this happens is when the lane change causes a car accident and you get blamed for making the mistake that led to that crash. Maybe you sideswiped another car on the interstate, for example.
But there are many situations in which you could be ticketed even though there wasn’t an accident and you’re not even sure what you did wrong. What constitutes an unsafe line change? It’s important to know exactly what the police are alleging when they give you a ticket. Here are a few examples.
Failing to use a turn signal
When changing lanes, it’s important to signal your intentions to other drivers. Even if there aren’t any other cars on the road, the police could technically pull you over for changing lanes without a turn signal.
Straddling the centerline
Lane changes also need to be completed promptly and correctly. You could get a ticket if you pass a vehicle and then don’t fully return to the correct lane after the pass is complete, instead straddling the centerline. This is often an issue when drivers are distracted while passing.
Not checking for hazards
Aggressive and sudden lane changes can also be viewed as dangerous and improper. For instance, perhaps the police accuse you of quickly making a lane change without checking to see if anyone was in your blind spot. This could lead to a serious collision with a smaller vehicle, such as a motorcycle.
What are your options?
Even if you’ve been accused of making an unsafe lane change, you may feel that you followed all the rules of the road and that the ticket is unfair or unjust. If so, it’s crucial that you know exactly what legal steps you can take at this time.