What to Know About - Slow Down, Move Over Laws in California

Hazard triangle on the road, with a person in distress calling on his phone in the background with his car damaged.

What to Know About - Slow Down, Move Over Laws in California

Are you aware of the "slow down, move over" laws in your state?" If you don't, you're not alone. A lot of people are unsure of the law as well, and some don't even know it exists. So, what is it actually? Well, it's a law that involves you and first responders. Essentially, what it tells you is to slow down if you see an emergency happening in the front, such as a car being readied to be towed away and to move to the next lane to avoid coming into contact with the individuals.

That said, let's delve deeper into the "move over, slow down" laws in California and learn what there is to know about them:

What Is The Rule Of "Slow Down, Move Over" Laws In California?

Well, the laws in California are quite simple. They are, however, very important and something that you need to follow. The laws state that you must:

Move to the lane farthest away from the emergency that is occurring

Slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit

If you cannot switch to a new lane, remain stopped until the emergency pass is complete

If you don't comply with these rules, then you're not only doing it to yourself, but you're also doing it to others.

What Are The Penalties For Those Who Don't Follow The Rules?

Luckily, if you do break the rules and do not comply with the law, then you will not be given a ticket. However, you will be given a warning or a hefty fine, or even both. And you're going to find out why. For starters, you're going to put the people that are being helped in more danger. That's a hefty fine right there. Secondly, you're going to put yourself in danger. If a fire truck has just passed by and you take your eyes off of the road to look at the fire truck, you could end up in an accident.

Do I Need A Lawyer?

Generally, no, you do not need a lawyer. However, if you have been involved in an accident and you have been charged with breaking the "slow down, move over" laws, you will need legal representation. Make sure that you have someone that can represent you and your rights in court against the state.

What If A Motorist Hits Me During An Emergency?

There are some cases where you find yourself in an emergency, but then a careless or negligent motorist hit you from the back, causing injuries and the like.

If this is the case, and if you've been injured by a negligent or careless motorist, you will need an attorney. After all, you're seriously injured, and the best thing you can do is to hire someone to deal with the situation. They can help you secure damages for a loss you've experienced, allowing you to physically and emotionally recover.

How Do I Avoid Roadside Accidents?

Understanding the traffic laws and knowing how to drive safely is paramount for highway safety, and there are many things you can do to avoid roadside accidents, especially with a first responder and the like.

First things first, never ever drive distracted. Always keep your eyes on the road and pay attention to what's happening around you. Second, try and look further ahead for any emergency vehicles, utility vehicles, and the like. If you see any of such vehicles, slow down to anywhere between 10 to 20 mph slower than the posted speed limit. Third, if you are on a multi-lane roadway, slowly make your way to the adjacent lane. If you cannot do so right away, slow down and approach with care. This is to ensure you don't accidentally ram into the responders should you not be able to make a lane change, allowing you to come to a complete stop if necessary before making the change.

What Should I Do If I Run Into An Emergency?

If you find yourself running into an emergency, such as your car breaking down on the freeway, there are a few things you can do to maximize safety.

First, if you can, pull over as far right as you can while ensuring your car is on level ground. Also, while doing this, turn on your hazard lights or do whatever it takes to warn motorists that your car is in trouble and that they need to slow down and move over. Another way you can warn motorists is to lift your hood and place something bright on your car's antenna or window or the back of it.

Second, while getting out of the vehicle, always check for any cars behind you. You wouldn't want to be caught in front of a speeding car while stepping out of your vehicle.

Third, never ever stand in front or behind your car. Motorists may not be able to see you, and if a car may hit the back of your car, you may be at risk of serious injuries or worst.

Fourth and finally, if you can, stay in your car until assistance arrives and keep your door locked. Also, whatever you do, don't attempt to cross a freeway by foot, nor should you leave the vehicle. Unless there's a big reason to leave a car, such as a fire in the engine, you're better off inside as it is much safer.


All in all, here's the takeaway: if you see an emergency, slow down and move over. It's as simple as that, but of course, you should never let your guard down. You never know when you will find yourself near an emergency situation, so always keep your eyes on the road and avoid as many distractions as possible. That said, if you do get into an emergency yourself, always prioritize safety for yourself and the motorists on the road. This can include staying in the car or setting up bright fabrics on your car to warn oncoming vehicles about your situation. This way, you and everyone else on the road are as safe as possible!

Mendez & Sanchez Law offers professional attorneys and team members that can help you navigate any difficult legal landscape. If you're looking for an accident lawyer in Los Angeles, get in touch with us today!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Tell Mendez & Sanchez About Your Case.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Your Blog Post Title Here


Your blog post content here.