Basic Information About the Rules of the Road in Charlotte
There are many different ways that you could become injured in a Charlotte, North Carolina, auto accident. You might be a driver, a passenger, a pedestrian, or a motorcyclist, for example. You may have made a mistake, or you may be the victim of someone else’s mistake. In many cases, more than one person is to blame. You may suffer no damage at all, or you might face serious and life-altering injuries. You may end up with a totaled vehicle and no transportation.
However your accident occurred and whatever damages you’re facing, you need to have some basic information about auto accident laws and regulations in Charlotte, North Carolina. Today, we’ll look at the basic driving laws and the rules for pedestrians and motorcyclists.
Basic Driving Laws in Charlotte, North Carolina
When it comes to making sense of your Charlotte, North Carolina, auto accident claim, you need to start with knowing the basic driving laws of the state. You should already be aware of these, from the moment you start driving. But a quick review will help you to look at what exactly happened in your accident, and who actually deviated from the basic driving laws.
To begin with, all drivers are required to obey all signs, signals, and directives from traffic officers and police. All drivers are required to stay on the right side of any road, remaining within their lane, except when passing, avoiding an obstruction or driving on a one way or three lane road. Drivers are allowed to pass on the left of another vehicle that is going the same way, as long as they keep two feet or more between themselves and the other driver. Further, the driver who is being passed is not allowed to increase their speed to prevent the passing driver from doing so safely.
It is also important to be aware of the laws concerning tailgating or following too closely behind another vehicle. This is one of the most frequently overlooked or disobeyed laws in Charlotte, North Carolina, and it is quite often the cause of rear end auto collisions. As a general rule, you should remain two to three seconds behind the vehicle that is in front of you. However, if someone is tailgating you, you cannot break check the driver. This is where the front driver slams on the brakes to warn the rear driver about tailgating. Hitting the brakes hard enough to potentially cause a wreck could lead to a rear end collision that is your own fault.
There are also specific laws that prevent drivers from engaging in distracted driving behaviors. This includes texting, talking on the phone, eating, or doing anything else that distracts you from the road. Specifically, the law in Charlotte, North Carolina, prohibits you from using an electronic device at all if you are under the age of 18 unless it is for an emergency reason. Drivers who are over the age of 18 are prohibited from using electronic devices to send or read text messages.
When two drivers approach an intersection at the same time, the driver on the left should yield the right of way to the driver on the right. Further, drivers must always yield the right of way to passing traffic before entering or crossing a new roadway.
Basic Pedestrian Laws in North Carolina
Pedestrians are also required to behave in a manner that is safe to prevent accidents. Many pedestrians know that they should have the right of way in most cases. Yet, this does not mean that pedestrians can do whatever they like and assume that they will be safe. For instance, if you are a pedestrian crossing the road, you need to watch for vehicles and make sure it is safe to cross, even if you know you have the right of way. Drivers are required to stop at crosswalks to allow pedestrians to pass. If there are signals controlling the traffic, pedestrians and drivers are both expected to follow these guides.
A common example of such a signal is the ‘walk’ and ‘don’t walk’ signs that you frequently find at intersections with traffic lights. These signs let you know if it is your turn to move, as the pedestrian, or if you need to wait for the traffic light to change. If you are a pedestrian who is in the middle of a crosswalk when the sign changes to ‘don’t walk,’ then you should quickly finish crossing. In cases where there is no crosswalk or signal to indicate when it is safe to cross, you should wait for traffic to clear for you to safely cross. If there is a crosswalk available, then pedestrians are required to use them. The same is true when it comes to using sidewalks. If there is a sidewalk, then pedestrians are required to use it, rather than walking in the street.
Basic Motorcycle Laws in Charlotte, North Carolina
Motorcyclists, like pedestrians, are at greater risk of serious injuries in a motor vehicle collision because they don’t have the same protection that passenger vehicles have. The difference is that motorcycles are traveling at the same speed of traffic and are often even less likely to be seen by other drivers. While drivers may be hyper-vigilant when keeping an eye out for pedestrians, they often don’t watch for motorcycles. Drivers should make a point of keeping an eye out for motorcycles, and motorcyclists must make a point of following the basic laws that apply to them. This includes never passing another driver in the same lane and never riding with more than two motorcycles beside each other in one lane. Finally, motorcyclists are required to have at least one headlight on at all times, and must also wear helmets in Charlotte, North Carolina, as must any passengers on the motorcycle.
If you have been in any kind of Charlotte, North Carolina, auto wreck, pedestrian accident, or motorcycle accident, call Brown Moore & Associates to learn more about your rights and options. Our skilled Charlotte, NC auto accident injury lawyers can help you with your claim. Call our office today!