After an accident, some drivers are faced with a dilemma: Do they move their car off to the side of the road or leave it? Do the police need to see the cars in their original position so they can determine what happened? But if they leave it, is it going to get hit by another car or cause a traffic jam? These are all legitimate questions, and the answer depends on what state you are in.
In Pennsylvania, the law states that you must move your car if it’s in the road after an accident unless there are serious injuries or a fatality.
(In Philadelphia, police no longer respond to minor accidents, either.)
The purpose of the law is the safety of the people involved in the crash and to those out in traffic who are vulnerable to secondary crashes trying to stop or avoid the stopped cars. Another concern is traffic congestion, and the removal of the car from the highway will help get traffic flowing normally again.
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Section 3745.1 states ”The driver of any vehicle in an accident that does not result in apparent serious bodily injury or death shall immediately remove the vehicle from the roadway to a safe refuge on the shoulder, emergency lane or median or to a place otherwise removed from the roadway whenever, in the judgment of the driver.”
This means that if there is an accident without death or injury, the driver must move the car out of the road to a safe place. Another part of the code says that if the car can’t be driven safely or without further damaging the car, then the car can be left and a tow truck will then move the car.
Failing to do this can creates a significant increase in risk for other on the roadway.
What if I’m Injured?
If the driver of either car is seriously injured, then the law exempts the drivers from the requirement that the car be moved. However, if the driver is injured but not seriously an is unable to drive the car, then anyone else with a valid driver’s license can move the car, and the law states that the person who moves the car is free from liability in case of another accident.
If you were seriously injured in a crash in Philadelphia, contact us for a free, confidential consultation.