There are many traffic laws that drivers in the state of Iowa must follow that are geared toward keeping anyone who occupies the roadway safe. One important law that motorists must obey is the move over or slow down law. When you see a vehicle that is pulled off to the shoulder of the road, it is likely they are experiencing car trouble or had an emergency. This means there is a good chance that one or more occupants may be required to get out of the vehicle to check to see what is wrong or attempt to fix a flat tire. That is why you are required to either move your vehicle over a lane or at least slow down so that you decrease the chances of engaging in an accident with that vehicle.
To help you better understand what your obligations are under the move over or slow down, law below we highlight what the state code stipulates.
According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, drivers in the state of Iowa must “change lanes or slow down when approaching the following vehicles:”
- A stationary emergency vehicle that has its flashing lights activated.
- A stationary tow, recovery, maintenance, construction, solid waste or recycling collection vehicle that has its flashing lights activated.
- Any stationary motor vehicle, including a passenger vehicle, that is continually displaying its emergency lights.
Drivers must also “yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights or giving an audible signal by moving over to the right, stopping and waiting until the vehicle has passed before proceeding.”
Now, if you were to violate the state’s move over or slow down law, you will likely be faced with the consequences for failing to abide by the law. The reality is, hundreds of auto accidents occur on our roadways today involving drivers who weren’t paying attention and crashed into the back of a vehicle that had pulled off to the side of the road. That is why state lawmakers enacted the move over or slow down law and why the state is quick to punish those who break it.
What happens if I violate the move over law and cause an accident?
In the event you are caught violating the law, you would be subjected to paying a fine that exceeds $100. However, if you were to cause a wreck that resulted in property damage, bodily injury, or death to another person, then the Iowa Department of Transportation will suspend your driver’s license/operating privileges for a certain period of time depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. For example, if you were to cause an accident that resulted in the damage of someone else’s property, you would have your driving privileges suspended for 90 days, and if the accident resulted in an individual suffering an injury, then the Iowa DOT would suspend your license for 180 days. Now, if the collision resulted in someone’s death, then your operating privileges would be suspended for one year.
Aside from having your driver’s licenses suspended, you may also face other penalties and even criminal charges if police find that you violated other traffic laws.
What should I do if I caused an auto accident in Iowa because I violated a law?
Before assuming that you are fully at fault for causing the wreck, it is best you consult with one of our Cedar Rapids, IA auto accident attorneys to find out if the other party shared any of the responsibility. The fact is, you may be able to recover some compensation for the injuries you sustained and our experienced lawyers can help you determine this. To find out whether your role in the accident permits or prohibits you from recovering compensation, contact Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. today.
You can reach Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. at:
1921 51st Street NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Phone: (319) 393-1020
Fax: (319) 393-4000