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‘Move over’ laws keep motorists and construction workers safe

On Behalf of | May 15, 2023 | Car Accidents |

If you travel on Interstate 172 or U.S. Highway 24, it is likely you will see at least one disabled vehicle on the shoulder of the road or encounter active construction zones. Such incidents are especially prevalent in the summer, when road construction is possible, and more people are driving as they travel for vacations.

People in vehicles that are disabled on the side of the road, as well as road workers in construction zones, are in a vulnerable safety position. Specifically, they are at risk of being struck by a distracted, careless or aggressive driver. For this reason, Illinois has enacted “move over” laws to keep those stuck or working on the shoulder of the road safe.

Illinois’ move over law

Illinois’ move over law requires drivers on a four-lane highway to move over, upon approaching a disabled vehicle with its hazards on. Drivers should move over one lane from the lane the disabled vehicle is stopped in if it is safe to do so. If changing lanes would be hazardous, drivers should slow down to a safe speed and keep as far a distance as possible from the disabled vehicle.

Move over laws also apply to those engaged in construction work on a highway. If a driver is in a construction zone on a four-lane highway where workers are present, the driver should move over one lane from the worker if safe and possible to do so. If changing lanes would be hazardous, drivers should slow down to a safe speed until they are clear of the workers in the construction zone.

Consequences for violating move over laws

If a driver violates a move over law, they have committed a either a petty offense or a business offense, subjecting them to fines.

If the failure to move over results in a motor vehicle accident that injures the person in the disabled vehicle or a construction worker, the injured party might pursue a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence. If successful, the injured party might be awarded compensatory damages for the financial expenses, mental anguish and pain and suffering they endured due to the collision.