Drivers often want to wave to other motorists on the road to communicate directions. However, waving a driver into a lane of traffic can lead to serious problems and car accidents. Though waving might seem perfectly reasonable, it puts all motorists on the road at risk.
Why Is Waving Risky?
Waving may seem understandable and friendly, but it has major detriments. In New Jersey, drivers who wave to their fellow motorists may be held partially responsible for any accidents that occur from waving.
For instance, if a driver signals to another driver that they are clear to switch lanes and a car accident ensues, then the waving driver is held responsible for the accident and resulting injuries. Drivers who cause post-wave collisions are deemed liable even if their intentions were good.
The law upholding this type of liability comes from a New Jersey in the late 1990s. Essentially, attorneys against the waving driver successfully proved to the courts that a waving driver takes responsibility for actions that resulted from the wave. Waving drivers can be sued by parties injured in a post-wave collision.
Is Not Waving Discourteous?
Some people feel that not waving to other drivers shows a sense of discourteousness. While it may be challenging not to wave, rudeness has no legal grounds. Besides, waving motorists cannot always know that traffic is completely clear.
A good example of this could be a waving driver that has limited sightlines. Although the waving driver believes the lane is clear, the driver cannot be completely sure. A speeding or turning motorist coming from another direction could enter the lane unexpectedly, causing a collision. Similarly, in situations where turning cars cross two lanes, a driver behind the waving driver could decide to move quickly into other lines without the waving driver being aware.
Instead of Waving
Drivers accustomed to waving fellow motorists might feel bewildered when they initially stop waving to other drivers. Drivers can feel more comfortable if they do not make eye contact with other drivers or make eye contact but do not gesture.
Defenses Against Waving Accusations
Sometimes, motorists accused of waving insist that their actions were mistaken. A few common defenses used by drivers who were allegedly waving include telling another motorist not to turn or that they were gesturing to passengers, not to other drivers. These defenses may or may not be upheld in a court case. In New Jersey, all drivers should refrain from waving.
Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm Represent All Victims Injured in Car Accidents
If you were injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Waving can be a confusing gesture to drivers on the road, and it can lead to a serious accident. Our Atlantic City car accident lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm will help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 609-926-3300 for a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we also serve clients in Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, Woodbury, and throughout South Jersey.