Motor Vehicle Accidents Law

Should You Swerve to Avoid a Crash?

Obviously, you want to avoid injury in a car accident, and you're most likely going to swerve instinctively to try to avoid the crash. If a car swerves into your lane while the driver is texting, you might be able to get through without a scratch by driving over onto the shoulder, honking your horn, and swerving around the potential wreck. That being said, some experts say you should never swerve. Why is this?


One reason is simply that it can be easier, from an insurance perspective, if the other car actually hits you. That driver caused the crash, and now he or she will have to stop, the police will be called, etc. If you swerve and run into the fence alongside the road, that driver may simply keep on going. There's no damage to that car, you have no idea who it was, and it's a lot harder to pin the crash on the driver who was really at fault.

Your Surroundings

Another part of the reason to avoid swerving is that your surroundings could be more dangerous. If you swerve to avoid a crash and end up rolling your car down an embankment, the risk of injury may actually rise. If you swerve on a city street and wind up on the sidewalk, pedestrians could be in far more danger than anyone in a car would have been if the two vehicles simply collided.

You could also end up causing a far worse accident. For example, if a car cuts you off while pulling out of a driveway and you swerve to your left to avoid a rear-end accident, you may just swerve right into oncoming traffic. Instead of a rear-end crash with another car at a cumulative 40 MPH, you wind up hitting another vehicle head-on while you're both traveling 55 MPH.

Your Rights After an Accident

Every accident is different, and this is not to say you shouldn't try to avoid a crash and keep yourself and others safe. However, it does help to illustrate how complex your options really are, especially when making that decision in a split second. After a crash, make sure you take the time to really look into your legal rights when you were not at fault.