You have been involved in a car accident, but your car appears to be drivable. The wreck is causing traffic to back up behind you. Should you move your car after a wreck? Is it legal? What if the other driver protests moving the cars?
In South Carolina, it is actually the law that “the driver of the [vehicle involved in the accident] shall make every reasonable effort to move any vehicle that is capable of being driven safely off the roadway … so as not to block the flow of traffic.” S.C. Code of Laws § 56-5-1220(B) (https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t56c005.php).
According to a Federal Highway Administration publication regarding best practices for traffic incident management, laws that require drivers involved in typically minor incidents to move the vehicles from the travel lanes, exchange information, and report the crash information as required help reduce the time delay for first responders arriving at the scene of the incident (https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop09005/driv_removal.htm).
Additionally, when cars remain in the travel lanes after minor wrecks, it puts the drivers as well as the first responders at greater risk of being injured by another passing motorist.
If it is safe to do so, document the scene of the crash by photographing it with your cell phone prior to moving your vehicle safely off the roadway. Once you are safely off the roadway, ensure that law enforcement has been contacted and report the wreck.
If another driver was responsible for the crash and you sustained injuries, you should consult with a knowledgeable car wreck lawyer about your rights as an injured party. I am ready to discuss the details of your wreck today. Contact me, Ryan McCarty for a consultation.
Ryan M. McCarty is a partner of Harrison White, P.C. Click here to read more about Ryan.
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