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    Does California’s Move-over Law Prevent Road Construction Mishaps?

Yes. Assuming drivers comply with the law and it’s also enforced, safety statutes such as this have been shown to prevent road construction accidents in California. Were you hurt, or was your loved one struck and killed due to horrible road conditions near construction zones in California? It remains vital for motorists to pay extra attention and look out for road construction signs in work zones. While behind the wheel, taking care to slow down and remain alert are two better approaches AAA recommended to remain construction zone accident-free. Other factors like weather can also come into play, which may increase the overall risks of being in a road accident with repair or construction activities.

Taking steps to understand and obey California’s move-over law for construction zones is another excellent way to stay safe while operating a motorized vehicle in California. Despite vehicles displaying emergency lights, and traffic police, road accidents still happen. Our Los Angeles road construction accident lawyers recognize you may need a lawyer with decades of experience to walk you through the legal process as you grieve and heal. Our lawyers will help you review the evidence, build your case and get you paid swiftly after suffering such traffic accidents.

Our Attorney Authority and Reputation In Freeway Work Accidents?

We won over $150 million on behalf of seriously injured accident victims. We have assisted thousands of clients in cases like this and are here to walk you through the construction zone accident claims. In a nutshell, a construction zone is not only a hazard for the drivers on the road but also for the construction crew.

If the drivers are not careful, they may risk their lives and others due to a construction zone accident. To avoid a construction work zone accident, reasonable, knowledgeable drivers will slow down or follow their state’s move-over law.

What Will We Cover Here?

In this article, our lawyers will discuss work zones and when the law requires motorists to stay alert and move out of the zone of danger. We will also share some secrets about getting compensation when disabled cars, debris, utility vehicles, first responders, and other emergency vehicles and tow trucks fail to follow safety protocols as the freeways in California move along.

Our Expertise, Experience, Knowledge, and Skill?

Ehline Law and our injury attorneys work closely with injured crew members and drivers who suffer injuries in construction-zone accidents. Our compassionate and experienced Cal Trans accident attorneys have more than 15 years of experience protecting the rights of injured victims across California and fighting for the compensation they deserve after being struck.

Contact our world-class attorney, Michael Ehline, to learn more about your rights if you suffered injuries in a California work zone accident on a multi-lane roadway or other work location. We can help you pursue all potentially liable parties, including government agencies, and hold them to account for causing such common types of accidents. Do you want help to secure damages by ensuring those responsible are held accountable for your damages and legal penalties? After all, this was a preventable accident, and complying with the law could have prevented disabilities and fatalities safely, right?

So how do you file a lawsuit? Sadly, many people sleep on their rights. Let’s explore the law so we can keep you safe as you learn about your rights over this subject and avoid even more danger. You and your family can also avoid being towed away and stay in the hospital emergency room by listening and following these instructions from attorneys.

Origins of Road Safety Laws

All 50 US States have these types of laws today. Why do we have things like speed limits? Posted speed limit signs and adjacent lane safety laws are designed to protect fellow road users and even road workers. Over the years, construction zones and emergency assistance on roadsides have led to serious motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Medical expenses in our healthcare system run into the billions when you add up avoidable accidents, including those caused by an unsafe lane change.

For more than 20 years, laborers suffered injuries in accidents caused at construction zones on major highways and roads. Some wrecks have turned into fires with a pyre of flaming equipment and injured/dead workers. This prompted legislatures to take action through legal reforms, including enforcing regular maintenance. Failing to abide by safety standards to avoid fire, flame, and collisions violates the rules.

According to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), 189 Caltrans employees conducting ongoing work have lost their lives due to distracted or inattentive motorists since 1921. Roadside emergency workers are also at serious risk of injuries while on the job, assisting other motorists, often until more assistance arrives.

In 1996, a paramedic worker in South Carolina lost their lives in a roadside accident while on the job and got blamed for the accident as there was a lack of clarity on the status of roadside emergency workers. The incident led to the first move-over law in the United States, with many states following soon after, as they, too, were aware of this problem.

California’s Move-over Law: What Is It?

Across the United States, all 50 states have move-over laws, including California. The law requires drivers to slow down and transition into another lane if workers work on the road or in other vehicles without any protective barriers.

Emergency Vehicles

The law initially came about more than a decade and applied to emergency responders and tow trucks. However, it was later amended to cover Caltrans workers and vehicles. Violators may face severe fines, especially in work zones or construction areas.

For the move-over law to be applicable, the vehicle must have its emergency lights on. Regardless of whether the emergency vehicle has its lights on, drivers must assess the situation and slowly transition into another lane if a construction zone is coming up ahead.

“Under the move-over laws, drivers must slow down or change lanes if they come across the following types of”stationary” vehicles: “Under the move-over laws, drivers must slow down or change lanes if they come across the following types of “stationary” vehicles:

  • Machinery and equipment that display amber lights (red or amber lights, etc.)
  • A tow truck with amber warning lights on (flashing lights)
  • The Department of Transportation has flashing warning lights to avoid a potential crash.

Consequences of Violating Move-over Laws Near a Construction Zone or Emergency Vehicle

Many drivers believe they can get away from the consequences of move-over laws as, typically, an officer is not present when they violate the law.

However, suppose a police officer stops a driver who does not slow down or shift lanes when emergency personnel is on the road or construction crews are working in an authorized construction zone. In that case, the driver may face fines of up to $1,000 and a few points on their driving record.

Does California’s Move-over Law Work?

Things like inclement weather are always a problem in California. Luckily, under the move-over law, Caltrans, emergency services, and other personnel who assist motorists and other individuals receive protection.

Unfortunately, despite the move-over law, there are many deaths and injuries involving emergency service personnel, Caltrans employees, and other drivers each year.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 42,915 people died in car accidents in 2021, a significant 10.5% increase since 2020.

There are several causes of car accidents in the United States, and some of the leading ones include the following:

Drunk Driving

The NHTSA reports more than 17,000 deaths yearly due to drunk driving, suggesting one ends every 45 minutes or almost a third of all traffic fatalities in the country.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol-related car crashes cost the government $44 billion in economic losses. There is no sign of this slowing.


The US Department of Transportation revealed that 29% of all traffic fatalities involve speeding as the main factor of the accident.

In 2020, more than 50% of all traffic fatalities happened on roads with a 55 mph speed limit, suggesting that despite traffic laws in place, drivers remain negligent and continue to act recklessly on the road.

Distracted Driving

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 6% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents involve distracted driving. Daydreaming is the leading cause (64%) of all distracted driving fatalities. Striking a barrier and rolling over is among the types of crashes, or a head-on collision as the at-fault drivers cross the double yellow line.

Although distracted driving does not contribute much to fatalities, it does lead to many injuries, as most distracted driving accidents involve relatively minor collisions and fender benders. Our talented distracted driving lawyers have won peer awards for providing superior legal representation in these complex cases. Call our offices to learn more about how to proceed today by dialing (833) LETS-SUE.

Drowsy Driving

The National Safety Council estimates 100,000 crashes leading to 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities due to drowsy driving. Many drowsy driving fatalities involve overworked employees or people traveling long distances. Sometimes the vehicle occupants can be elected through a window, so these dangers are no joke. It’s crucial to form an attorney-client relationship immediately if clients want to maximize their financial results, as these cases can be hard to prove.

Can Workers or Other Emergency Services Personnel Hold Drivers Liable for Accidents?

The move-over law protects law enforcement officers, tow truck drivers, firefighters, construction personnel, and people in an authorized emergency vehicle from fast-moving vehicles. Under the law, approaching motorists must slow down or switch lanes to avoid collision with any parties or passengers stopped at the side of the road or medians.

A driver who ignores an emergency vehicle at the side of the road or a construction vehicle with the hazard lights on could lead to a devastating accident. Under the law, the driver may be liable for the damages caused due to their negligence in road construction accidents.

Can the Drivers Sue Construction Workers for Injuries Despite Move-over Law?

Although the move-over laws protect emergency personnel, law enforcement, and authorized construction workers from accidents, it does not bar liability if any of them are negligent.

For example, the crew must set warning signs at a construction zone to inform incoming drivers of the work zone or construction hazards. Failure to warn incoming drivers can lead to liability, for which the injured driver can sue for compensation.

Sometimes the workers may make the lanes too narrow for drivers to move through, increasing the risk of work zone accidents. It is the responsibility of the construction team to plan out their projects to avoid minimal disruptions and possibilities of accidents.

Accident victims need to speak to experienced personal injury attorneys to learn more about their rights following construction zone accidents. An attorney can investigate to prove liability. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf. Additionally, an attorney can help protect your rights to obtain the most significant compensation to cover all your losses.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law Move Over Law Accident Experts

Our best California personal injury is standing by to take your call. Whether you’re a driver or a construction crew member, work zone crashes can lead to catastrophic injuries, putting accident victims in a vulnerable position. If you don’t have legal representation, you may also lose the opportunity to recover compensation.

You need to understand you may be able to seek compensation assuming the facts show such is the case. Our lawyers have a record of proven results and are ready to pay attention and soundly win your case today. We can help you swiftly recover full and fair non-economic damages for things like pain and suffering and economic losses for lost wages and out-of-pocket losses. We have the Midas Touch and a reputation for completing the task.

We can help you bring your life back on level ground as you get back on your feet 24/7. Since a government entity may be liable, you only have six months to bring a claim. Therefore, it’s essential to act quickly. Contact us to discuss your options if you suffered injuries in a construction work zone accident due to another’s negligence. Phone our aggressive legal team at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation with the best car accident attorneys in Los Angeles. We have an earned reputation for winning and want you to be included in that winning documentation.

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Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.