J&Y Law Firm discusses California's move-over law.

Road Construction and California’s Move-Over Law: Preventing Injury and Death

Road construction accidents are dangerous for drivers and construction crew members. It is important that drivers pay close attention to work zone signs, including speed limits for work zones. Slowing down and remaining alert are two of the best ways to avoid a construction zone accident. Another way to avoid an accident is to obey California’s move-over law for construction zones. If you are injured in a construction zone accident, contact a California personal injury attorney to review your rights and options for recovering compensation for your injuries and damages.

What is the Move-Over Law in California?

All 50 states have a move-over law that protects emergency personnel and construction workers. The laws vary by state, but most states require drivers to slow down and move over to another lane if workers are on the side of the road and they are not protected by a barrier.

California enacted its move over law more than a decade ago. The law originally applied to emergency vehicles and tow trucks but was amended to include Caltrans workers and vehicles. Violators can face expensive fines for failing to obey move-over laws, especially in work zones and road construction zones. Technically, a vehicle’s emergency lights must be activated for the move over law to apply. However, it is best to slow down and merge into another lane whenever possible if you approach an emergency vehicle on the side of the road. 

The move-over law is designed to protect emergency personnel, tow truck drivers, and Caltrans employees who are aiding motorists and other individuals who are involved in road work. Sadly, many of these individuals are injured and killed each year in accidents caused by distracted, impaired, or careless drivers.

Work Zone and Construction Zone Accidents Cause Severe Injuries and Deaths

Sadly, many drivers ignore warning signs and reduced speed limit signs for construction zones and work zones. The result can be tragic and preventable. If a driver ignores warning signs and causes an accident, the driver can be held liable for any damages arising from the crash.

However, some drivers are injured because of the negligence of other parties. For example, a construction or work zone crew narrows lanes too much making it dangerous for drivers to proceed through the work zone. Crews may fail to display adequate warning signs or other signage to notify drivers of dangers in a work zone. Construction crews might leave debris or equipment in the road that can cause a traffic accident.

If another party is responsible for causing a car accident, the victims might be entitled to compensation for their damages from that party. It is important to have an attorney familiar with the construction zone and work zone accidents investigate the cause of a crash to determine whether another party might be liable for damages.

Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney for Help

If you are injured in a work zone or construction zone accident or an accident involving the state’s move-over laws, a California personal injury attorney can help. An attorney investigates the crash to determine fault and gather evidence proving liability. An attorney identifies the insurance coverage that may apply and files an insurance claim with the provider. 

Because government agencies and entities may be involved in these types of car accident claims, it is to your advantage to contact an attorney as soon as possible following an accident because time limits are short for filing claims involving the government. Contact us today for a free consultation