Many Texas drivers are aware of the dangers of things like drunk driving, speeding, and tailgating. But one thing some drivers may not be aware of is the inherent danger of driving too close to a vehicle, emergency responder, roadside crew, or anyone else that’s close to the road or stopped in a lane of traffic. Police who’ve pulled over a driver, emergency medical teams, firefighters, and others can all suffer major injuries if someone drives too close and strikes them or their vehicle.
To minimize the chances of these accidents occurring, Texas and other states have passed “Move Over” laws that spell out when drivers should change lanes to avoid a potential hazard and what to do if they can’t switch lanes. Our car accident attorneys in DFW explain Texas’ Move Over laws below.
What Are Move Over Laws in Texas?
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, drivers should move over one lane or slow down to a speed 20 mph below the speed limit if they’re approaching a police car, ambulance, fire truck, Texas DOT vehicle, utility vehicle, tow truck, or other maintenance vehicle parked along the side of the road.
Drivers who are caught going too fast or driving too close to a stopped vehicle could face a $200 fine. If you injure someone as a result of failing to follow the Move Over regulations, you could face a $2,000 fine and additional penalties.
Though it’s not a law, the Texas DOT recommends drivers give cyclists at least three feet of space when passing, or to slow down and wait if there isn’t enough room to give a cyclist three feet of space while passing.
Roadside Fatality Statistics
Here are a few facts about the dangers of not following Texas’ Move Over laws:
- Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that, on average, one emergency responder is killed in a roadside accident every other week across the U.S.
- According to a AAA report, 14 tow truck drivers were killed in roadside accidents across the country in 2021, and that’s just as of August.
- A survey from AAA says that nearly 25 percent of all drivers don’t know the Move Over law in their states. Among drivers who do know about the Move Over law in their state, about 15 percent said they didn’t understand the consequences of not following the law.
- Among drivers who do not comply with Move Over laws in their state, about 42 percent of them said not following the law was only somewhat dangerous or not dangerous at all.
Tate Law Can Help
If you’ve been hurt in a roadside accident caused by a driver who was not following Texas’ Move Over law, a Dallas car accident lawyer from Tate Law Offices, P.C. can help. Our accident attorneys have recovered significant compensation for our clients, and we’ll work vigorously to build you the strongest case possible. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Tim received a business degree in finance from Southern Methodist University and a Juris Doctor (law degree) from South Texas College of Law. Over the last two decades Tim has represented victims of injuries day-in and day-out throughout the state of Texas as well as in numerous other states throughout America. Tim’s mission on every case is always to get the insurance company of the defendant to pay top dollar for his client’s case, which allows his clients to put the maximum amount of money into their pocket.