Most Florida drivers understand and respect the requirement that they move over to avoid the lane adjacent to a stopped police or emergency vehicle. When possible, drivers should steer their vehicle into another lane if there is an emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder or the side of the road. Drivers may not know that it is equally important to stay away from any stopped or disabled vehicle on the side of the road. A recent fatal accident on the Florida turnpike was caused when the driver of a pickup truck struck a tow truck that was assisting a disabled vehicle on the shoulder of the turnpike.
According to a local news report discussing the crash, a tow truck had stopped on the shoulder of the Florida Turnpike in Lake County and was preparing to tow a disabled vehicle as a pickup truck approached. The driver of the pickup truck stayed in the lane closest to the tow truck and veered into the shoulder unexpectedly. The pickup truck struck the tow truck and the driver of the tow truck, who was outside of the vehicle at the time. After the initial collision, the pickup truck rolled, and the driver was ejected from the vehicle. Both the tow truck driver and the driver of the pickup truck were killed as a result of the collision. A passenger in the pickup truck survived but was taken to a local hospital in serious condition.
Florida Motor Vehicle Code Section XXIII(316)(26)(116)(1)(b) requires drivers to move over from the closest lane from an emergency, utility, or service vehicle that is stopped on the side of the road performing professional duties. Drivers who fail to follow the move over law can be cited with an infraction offense. In the event of an accident that occurs because a driver failed to follow the move over law, the driver can be found negligent and responsible for damages to any other drivers who are hurt or suffer property damage as a result of a crash.
Although the motor vehicle code does not expressly require drivers to move over when there is a non-emergency vehicle stopped or disabled on the side of the road, all drivers should be prudent and move away from a stopped vehicle out of caution. Although the shoulders on many highways and interstates are large enough for a vehicle to stop safely without obstructing traffic, a lapse in judgment or attention can result in a vehicle crossing into the shoulder, with potentially fatal consequences.
Legal Assistance for Those Injured in a Miami Car Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a South Florida car accident, you may have a claim for damages, even if you could be partially at fault for the crash. The experienced South Florida personal injury and auto accident attorneys with Friedman, Rodman Frank & Estrada are qualified to investigate your case and pursue your claim for damages from other drivers involved in the accident, as well as any insurance companies who may be financially responsible for damages arising from a crash. Our attorneys represent clients injured in accidents throughout South Florida and also handle other personal injury and negligence claims. Call our office at 877-448-8585, or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.