Lack of Evasive Action in a Car Accident in Texas
As drivers, we have a duty to uphold all applicable traffic laws and operate our vehicles safely. Since Texas is a fault insurance state, any driver who causes an accident must pay for the damages of any injured victims. Many factors can contribute to these accidents, from inclement road and weather conditions to negligent driving behaviors. Car accident victims can point to many actions that constitute driver negligence—including lack of evasive action.
What Does Lack of Evasive Action Mean?
Under Texas law, drivers have a responsibility to keep an eye out for potential hazards on the road and take steps to avoid an accident when possible. For example, if you are driving through a parking lot and a pedestrian suddenly runs out in front of you, you have a responsibility to stop as quickly as possible—even if the pedestrian’s actions are technically negligent. If a vehicle driving ahead of you brakes unexpectedly or if you see a driver skidding across multiple lanes of traffic, you have a duty to stop and try your best to prevent a collision.
Lack of evasive action occurs when a driver fails to take reasonable steps to avoid a foreseeable accident. For example, say that a driver is traveling on a highway when he suddenly hits a pothole and loses control of his vehicle. At the same time, a large commercial vehicle is traveling down the road and the truck driver sees the accident ahead of him.
The truck driver has about 2,000 feet of clearance to stop his vehicle, but he continues to drive toward the accident anyway. The truck then collides with the passenger car, severely injuring the motor vehicle driver. In this situation, the truck driver failed to take the necessary evasive action, causing an accident that would have otherwise been preventable.
Can a Driver be Liable for an Accident for Failure to Take Evasive Action?
Failure to take evasive action is a breach of a driver’s duty to uphold Texas traffic laws and drive safely. For example, say that a driver fails to notice a patch of black ice on the road. She skids over the ice and loses control of her vehicle. Another driver is approaching an intersection and notices the other driver careening across the road.
Instead of stopping his vehicle and avoiding the accident, the second driver continues to drive through the intersection because he believes that he has the right of way. However, he collides into the first driver. In this situation, the second driver would be responsible for the accident because he failed to avoid it. Even if the first driver was responsible for the initial incident, the second driver would be at fault due to his failure to take necessary actions to avoid additional harm. However, lack of evasive action is only applicable in situations where a driver could have reacted to prevent an accident but chose not to.
How Can Evasive Action Prevent a Collision?
Evasive action is necessary to keep other drivers safe on the road and avoid unnecessary harm. By keeping an eye on your surroundings and paying attention to other drivers’ actions, you can avoid a preventable accident before it is too late.
If you are in an accident on Texas roads, you may have grounds for a claim against the other driver—especially if he or she failed to take reasonable steps to prevent a collision. In these situations, you need a car accident attorney on your side. As soon as possible following your accident, contact our car accident lawyer in McAllen to discuss your options for compensation.