When you see someone stopped on the side of the road, what is your first reaction? Do you switch lanes? Do you stay in your lane, but drive a little slower? Or do you continue driving, in the same lane, at the same speed? If you answered “stay in your lane,” regardless of the speed you are driving, you may be breaking the law.
Failure to Move Over: Why it’s Dangerous (and Illegal)
If a driver is stopped on the side of the road, it’s usually for a good reason: They may have been involved in an accident, have a flat tire, or could be a first responder on the job. The shoulder of the road is used as a place to get out of oncoming traffic to address an issue. We should respect our fellow drivers and give them the space they need to solve whatever problem they are dealing with. Not only is this polite, it can save lives.
Driving past people who are stopped on the side of the road, even at a reasonable speed, is very dangerous. The risk of hitting a stopped car is high, but as people shuffle around the shoulder, hitting a pedestrian is a significant possibility as well.
For these reasons, all states have “move over” laws. Although the details of these laws vary, they all focus on the importance of giving people in the shoulder the space they need to move around safely.
Police Raise Awareness of Move Over Laws
In Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Michigan, state police are working to enforce move over laws and educate residents on their importance. According to a report from WSAZ News of Huntington and Charleston, WV, a lack of knowledge of move over laws is a common reason drivers cite if they are pulled over for not switching lanes, along with an inability to do so or “just [not] paying attention.”
As a driver, it is important to stay abreast of all the traffic regulations in your state. Driving laws are meant to ensure safety, and should be followed at all times.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact Attorney Mark Troy of Troy Law Firm PLLC. You can schedule a free consultation by sending us a message or calling (304) 315-2299.