Driving on the Wrong Side of The Road - Not just negligence, it's negligence per se.
When you're on the road, it's a reality that you may have things that will get in your way and cause you to move left. However, this is only in specific and extreme situations. If someone's driving on the wrong side of the road consistently and ends up causing an accident, you may have a lawsuit on your hands. This is because Texas courts decided that every driver has a duty to not drive on the left side of the road and to stay on the right-hand side, and when that duty is broken, the driver has committed negligence per se.
You may now be wondering what negligence per se. Well, it's different from ordinary negligence, which you may be familiar with and already know that its based on the reasonable person standard. If not though, you can visit our negligence page here. However, negligence per se isn't subject to the same standard, but instead is based on if the defendant party violated statute. You see, Texas courts determined that driving on the left side of the road, along with several other negligent acts, was so negligent that there was no subjective way to see it. If the act was done, it was negligent. Therefore, if the the statute was violated, it is negligence per se by virtue of the fact that it was done.
- What exactly is negligence per se?
- What does Texas law say about negligence?
- When do I need an attorney?
Other Negligent Per Se Acts
As we mentioned earlier, Texas courts have determined some other violations of the law that can be alleged as negligence per se. Those are:
- Running a stop sign
- Negligently loaning of vehicle to unlicensed driver
- Someone ran a stoplight
- Street racing
What the Statute Says About Driving on the Left Side:
The whole issue of driving on the left side of the road is no trivial matter. In The Texas Transportation Code, the duty not to drive in this incorrect manner is outlined clearly:
Sec. 545.051. DRIVING ON RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY. (a) An operator on a roadway of sufficient width shall drive on the right half of the roadway, unless:
(1) the operator is passing another vehicle;
(2) an obstruction necessitates moving the vehicle left of the center of the roadway and the operator yields the right-of-way to a vehicle that:
(2A) is moving in the proper direction on the unobstructed portion of the roadway; and
(2B) is an immediate hazard;
(3) the operator is on a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic; or
(4) the operator is on a roadway restricted to one-way traffic.
Sec. 545.056. DRIVING TO LEFT OF CENTER OF ROADWAY: LIMITATIONS OTHER THAN PASSING. (a) An operator may not drive to the left side of the roadway if the operator is:
(1) approaching within 100 feet of an intersection or railroad grade crossing in a municipality;
(2) approaching within 100 feet of an intersection or railroad grade crossing outside a municipality and the intersection or crossing is shown by a sign or marking in accordance with Section 545.055;
(3) approaching within 100 feet of a bridge, viaduct, or tunnel; or
(4) awaiting access to a ferry operated by the Texas Transportation Commission.
In short, the statute says you can drive on the left side of the road on a few limited scenarios: when passing, if there's something in the road, if there are more than two lanes of traffic, or the roadway is one-way. That's it. And even more strict, is that those limited scenarios don't apply when it comes to approaching an intersection, bridge, or waiting on a ferry. The safest bet is to just not do it, unless you have to do it.
Why Some Drivers Do This and Why This Type of Car Accident Requires an Attorney:
Some drivers though don't follow the safe bet. They drive on the left side for a thrill or some other dangerous reason. And like we mentioned earlier, if they've caused a car accident, they'll be liable for the victim's injuries. Since negligence per se is violating a statute, and they've done this, the case will be much simpler to handle than a traditional negligence case.
That is definitely not to say though, that you should handle your case on your own. Sure, some people want to self-represent, but when they do they risk losing their case. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney is your best bet; hire a lawyer that knows how to collect evidence from the scene of the accident before the evidence starts to fade away or "disappear," knows how to bring in expert witnesses and eye witnesses that can attest to the facts of the case, and finally, knows the law backwards and forwards, as well as continuously educates themselves on new court cases that deal with this same type of accident.
If someone's illegally driven on the wrong side of the road, take action against their negligence per se.
In our 25 years of handling car accident cases, we've honed these skills. We know that with a strong case and rock-solid evidence, your case will win. As well, we know that with these skills, we're truly holding the defendant driver accountable for the harm he has caused, which is justice in its purest sense. And finally, we work at no cost to you unless we win, so you've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Don't handle your case without us: (855) 326-0000.
Related Articles For Further Reading:
- How to File a Traffic Accident Lawsuit in Texas
- Evidence You'll Need to Win
- Researching a Defendant in Your Case