Should You Move Your Vehicle After A Car Wreck?

Two Cars Crash Into Each Other

After being involved in a car wreck, one of your first thoughts may be whether you should move your vehicle off the roadway. The answer depends on the severity of the wreck, whether there are injuries, and whether the vehicle can be moved safely. For minor wrecks involving minor property damage with no injury, you should move your vehicle off the roadway to a safe place, such as a nearby shoulder or parking lot. This is because a vehicle that is stopped on the road blocking a lane of traffic, backs up other traffic and needlessly increases the risk of other crashes occurring or that a minor crash could turn into a major pile up. This is especially true on the interstate. Studies show that for every minute a car is stopped and blocks one lane of traffic on the interstate, it backs up approaching traffic for four minutes. Failure to move your vehicle after a minor crash may cause you to receive a ticket. RSMo. § 304.151.

If the crash results in major property damage, or the vehicle cannot be moved safely, or in the case of injury or death, you do not need to move your vehicle. You always want to use your best judgment as to whether it is safe to leave the vehicle in the road or whether doing so risks further harm to you or other motorists. If you chose to leave the vehicle in the road in these circumstances, you should activate your hazard lights and, if available, set out flares so as to warn approaching traffic. Emergency services such as police and, if needed, an ambulance, should be summoned right away by calling 911.

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