Carpooling has many benefits. You save money on gas, you help the environment and you get access to carpool (HOV) lanes, which can drastically reduce your commuting time. But do these special carpool lanes prevent accidents by putting less cars on the road – or do they actually make roads more dangerous?
There are two common forms of HOV lanes: those with physical barriers, and those without. Regardless of barriers, these HOV lanes create a speed differential that can contribute to accidents. Just like how car accidents often occur at interchanges, where cars are either speeding up or slowing down to enter or exit highways, the difference in speeds combined with the changing of lanes make HOV lanes prone to accidents. Of course, without barriers, the speed differential is the bigger problem. With barriers, it is the necessity for more interchanges that leads to car accidents. In Fact, a Texas A&M study once found that barrier HOV lanes increased traffic accident injuries somewhere between 41 percent and 56 percent.
Another way that HOV lanes could create danger is when they replace the shoulder on the road. Shoulders are useful for drivers who are suffering mechanical problems with their vehicles. If the shoulder on one side of the road is replaced with an HOV lane, barrier or not, drivers could be forced to take dangerous actions to get off the road in event of an emergency. The actions endanger other vehicles on the road, as well.
Your Rights after a Carpooling Accident
Liability in carpooling accidents can be confusing. There are often several parties and vehicles involved. As such, if you are injured in a carpooling accident, you should immediately discuss your case with a personal injury attorney.
Isaiah 41:13, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”