What is Faulty Evasive Action?

faulty evasive action

There are many factors that contribute to the average car accident: driver behaviors, intoxication levels, road conditions, inclement weather, timing, whether pedestrians or cyclists are involved, etc. Police officers and insurance adjusters may run through all of these factors and determine that no matter what, the car accident in question could not have been predicted or avoided. Other accidents, though, are both foreseeable and avoidable. The crash in question may just boil down to the at-fault driver’s faulty evasive action, which refers to the driver’s ability to foresee the accident occurring and take reasonable steps to avoid it. Under Texas law, all drivers must practice proper evasive driving techniques in order to keep each other safe and avoid collisions.

Below, our legal team breaks down what faulty evasive action is and whether or not you can be held liable for this type of driving behavior.

If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries or wrongful death in a Texas car accident, you need strong legal representation on your side. San Antonio car accident lawyers at Janicek Law can protect your legal rights and help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. Call our law firm at 210-366-4949 to schedule a free consultation with our legal team today.

What is Faulty Evasive Action?

Faulty evasive action – also known as inadequate evasive action or failure to take evasive action – is a type of driving behavior characterized by the failure to avoid a collision with another vehicle. In other words, failing to take evasive action means that a car or truck driver saw a potential danger on the roads and did absolutely nothing to avoid it. Evasive driving maneuvers could be quickly hitting the brakes or turning the steering wheel sharply in order to avoid a car accident.

For example, let’s say two cars are at a four-way intersection with stop signs. Driver 1 conveniently runs out of gas in the middle of the intersection as they were on the way to the gas station and almost made it before their car stopped running. Driver 2 is panicking and speeding because they’re late for work while simultaneously checking their cell phone. So Driver 2 runs the stop sign, and their front end collides into the side of Driver 1’s vehicle in the middle of the intersection. This is called a T-bone collision.

This accident was completely avoidable. Driver 1 could have seen Driver 2 sitting in the middle of the intersection from possibly over 1,500 feet away, giving them plenty of time to take a number of different evasive driving maneuvers: slowing down, swerving or slowly going around the car, or even turning down a different street entirely to avoid the car. And yet, because they were panicking, speeding, and distracted by their phone, they failed to take reasonable steps to avoid a foreseeable collision.

Can a Driver Be Held Liable for Failure to Take Evasive Action in Texas?

Yes, a driver can definitely be held liable for faulty evasive action in Texas. This is because Texas is an at-fault state, which means that the at-fault driver’s insurance company has to cover all the damages of the other drivers involved.

Texas also follows a modified comparative fault rule with a 51% bar when at least two cars share percentages of fault in a car accident. If insurance adjusters find you to be less than 51% at fault for an accident, you can still recover compensation for vehicle damage, medical bills, and lost wages. However, if you’re found to be more than 51% at fault for an accident, you cannot recover compensation for any damages.

In the previous example, Driver 1 may be assigned a very small percentage of fault for continuing to drive their vehicle on an empty tank and failing to drift off to the side of the road if they felt their car shut down. Meanwhile, Driver 2 clearly shares the vast majority of the fault for the accident. Not only did they completely violate traffic laws by running a stop sign, but they were also driving recklessly with distractions. And finally, Driver 2 failed to take reasonable steps to avoid a collision.

Taking evasive action while driving is a clear violation of the duty of care that every driver on the road is expected to uphold. If everyone failed to practice evasive driving, then there would be car accidents left and right.

what is faulty evasive action

Car Accident Damages

In most minor accidents, a car or truck driver can usually recover full compensation for their damages through the at-fault party’s insurance policy. However, not all crashes are minor fender benders that result in a bruise here or there. Some accidents are major and lead to catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and organ damage, among others. The minimum insurance requirements in Texas cannot fully cover these damages. So, the crash victim would have to seek legal representation and file a personal injury lawsuit to receive full compensation.

These same principles apply to the rights as a passenger in a car accident in Texas.

San Antonio car accident lawyers at Janicek Law can help crash victims recover compensation for the following types of damages:

  • All medical bills for emergency care, treatments, surgeries, medications, physical therapies, etc.
  • Caretaking expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity if the victim’s incapacitating injuries prevent them from completing their normal job duties
  • Permanent scarring, disfigurement, and disability
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental health counseling costs
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium compensation
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Funeral and burial expenses if the victim suffers fatal injuries

How Proper Evasive Actions Can Prevent Car Accidents

“Proper” is a keyword here. Drivers can take radical evasive action and make the entire situation worse. For example, maybe a driver’s knee-jerk reaction to avoid a large object in the road is to sharply swerve which makes them lose control of their vehicle and spin into oncoming traffic.

In many cases, proper evasive action is simply paying attention to all surroundings while driving, and braking to avoid potential hazards. This will lower anyone’s daily risk of colliding with other drivers.

Evasive Driving Tips

It is part of your individual duty of care to drive safely and avoid accidents where you can. Below, we list the best evasive driving techniques that can lower everyone’s risk of crashes, injuries, and even death.

Watch for Brake Lights

One of the first things we learn in driver’s ed is to watch for dangerous conditions, cars, or other obstacles at least 15 seconds in front of the vehicle. This includes watching for other cars’ brake lights 15 seconds ahead of you, at an upcoming red light for example. This will give you plenty of reaction time to slow down and stop. Our brains can send signals to our feet to hit the brake pedal in less than 1 second, but sometimes this is still not quick enough to avoid an accident.

Scan the Roads

Drivers should always stay alert and scan the road or parking lot they’re driving in for speed limits, traffic signs, pedestrians, cyclists, obstacles, etc. Constantly being aware of danger on the roads is a crucial aspect of proper evasive driving. That way, you can make a quick maneuver if necessary, such as braking or swerving.

No Tailgating

Here is something else you may remember from your early days of driver’s education: there should be a minimum three-second following distance between you and each car on the roads. A following distance shorter than this is usually referred to as tailgating.

Following other vehicles too closely is very dangerous and can rob you of adequate reaction time in the event of an emergency. For example, you feel like the car in front of you is just going way too slow, and you’re late for work, so you ride as closely to their bumper as you can to make them go faster. A pedestrian suddenly runs in front of the car you’re tailgating, and they slam on the brakes. Because you’re following way too close, you’re not able to hit the brakes in time or even swerve out of the lane, and you rear-end them.

Had you had a minimum three-second following distance between you and the car in front of you, you could have hit the brakes in time and potentially avoided the accident.

faulty evasive action texas

Call San Antonio Car Accident Lawyers at Janicek Law Today

If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury or wrongful death in a car accident in Texas, you may have grounds to take legal action. Not only do San Antonio car accident lawyers at Janicek Law have extensive knowledge of Texas driving laws, but they also have decades of combined experience in fighting for the justice of crash victims. Our San Antonio personal injury lawyer team is the best legal team to have on your side in a crisis. Call 210-366-4949 to schedule a free consultation at our law firm today.


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