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Can you move a vehicle after an auto accident?

Illinois motorists who get in a car accident will face a number of immediate questions. One of them is whether you can move your vehicle from the immediate location of an accident. Illinois law addresses this question, and as it turns out, the law does allow motorists to move an automobile from an accident scene, provided certain conditions are met.

According to Illinois state law, a driver of a vehicle that has only struck another automobile, without causing property damage, must stop at the scene or as close to it as possible. Failure to do so can result in a possible Class A misdemeanor. If a judge determines that a motorist has caused damages exceeding $1,000 dollars, it could lead to penalties such as a suspension of the motorist’s driving license or the driving privilege of any nonresident of the state.

However, moving vehicles off major arteries of traffic does not violate state law. The presence of a damaged vehicle on a highly trafficked lane can be highly disruptive to oncoming motorists. In that case, the law does permit conditional removal of the vehicle. The motorist is allowed to drive or move his or her vehicle to a close safe spot on a frontage road, the nearest available cross street, a shoulder off the side of the road or any spot that does not block traffic. 

In short, Illinois law states that motorists that have impacted another vehicle in an auto accident should not move their vehicle from an accident scene unless the vehicle obstructs traffic. If so, the law permits the driver to move the automobile to a nearby safe location.

This information is provided to provide a general idea of what the law says about auto accidents and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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Springfield, IL 62703

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