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Understanding "move over" laws

If you were asked what would be the absolute worst place to stop your car, you would likely echo the same answer that many in New Haven might give: the side of the freeway. Yet in some of the cases that we here at The Law Office of George H. Romania, LLC deal with, people are often left with little choice. If your vehicle has recently become disabled on a freeway, then you are well aware of just how harrowing such an experience can be. If that incident resulted in another car striking yours, then you may justly be questioning who is at fault. 

When you are forced to stop on a freeway, you are expected to still remove your vehicle (if possible) from the road so as to not interrupt the flow of traffic. Thus, deciding whether or not you were far enough off the road depends on where you were stopped at. Yet you might have heard that in such a situation, other vehicles are legally obliged to move over so as to not risk your safety. Is this true? 

Many states have enacted "move over" laws in recent years, and Connecticut is no exception. However, the local law only requires drivers to move over when emergency vehicles are present. In this case, "emergency vehicles are defined as: 

  • Ambulances 
  • Fire or police department vehicles
  • Maintenance vehicles 
  • Wreckers or tow trucks

It should be remembered, however, that drivers are required to avoid collisions when possible. Thus, your turning your hazard lights on after becoming stranded on the side of the road should prompt them to give you space (even if an emergency vehicle is not yet present). 

You can learn more about assigning liability in car accidents by continuing to explore our site. 

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