The question of should you move your car after an accident often comes to mind. There’s a common belief that you shouldn’t touch anything in accident cases until the police arrive, and that’s true to some extent.
However, if your car is blocking traffic or causing a roadblock, moving it to a safer spot is okay, but there are some exceptions. In some cases, you shouldn’t move your car or even a small object from the accident scene even if the road is blocked.
To help you, we’ll answer the exceptions in which moving your car from the accident scene creates a legal issue and what exactly you should do after a car accident. So, let’s get into the details below!
Is It Illegal To Move Your Car After an Accident?
Fortunately, there’s no obligation from the law for you to move your car to a safe place after an accident; it’s also a recommended step. By doing this, you’ll make sure traffic remains in flow, preventing road congestion.
According to California Vehicle Code Section 20002:
“The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to any property, including vehicles, shall immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists.”
The police and ambulance for medical help can also reach you on the spot easily if there’s no traffic jam on the accident road. Moreover, this step reduces the risk of another accident due to the roadblock.
The best places to move your car after an accident are parking spots or the shoulder of a highway. But remember, it’s not necessary; your safety and health always come first. If you cannot move or feel pain, it’s advisable to wait for medical help.
Once medical help comes, explain your situation to them, ensure you’re in good health, and then proceed to move your car. The law doesn’t force an injured person to move their vehicle until they are physically able to do so.
When To Not Move Your Car After An Accident?
Besides your health, there are many other situations in which you shouldn’t move your car after an accident. Otherwise, you may face legal consequences because moving a car in particular situations can risk your or others’ lives.
- Totalled Car: The first situation in which you shouldn’t try to move the car is when it’s totalled completely or running improperly. In these situations, the car isn’t safe to move, and it might lead to another dangerous accident.
- Unstable Road: In some cases, the debris of the car crash comes in the way while parking the car in a safe place. If this is the situation, you shouldn’t move the car because while doing this, you might get injured.
- Explosion Hazard: A strong gasoline smell inside or near the car means the fuel tank is leaking. It’s dangerous as a leaking fuel tank could lead to an explosion or fire. Hence, you should better stay away from the car.
- Death or Serious Injury: If you or the driver in the other car is seriously injured or someone died due to the accident, don’t move the car. Doing so can mess up the evidence and make injuries worse.