Q: Are there any state or federal laws that prohibit vehicles from stopping Abruptly on the freeway?
I was involved in an accident on US 101 where a big rig that was in front of me came to an abrupt stop to avoid hitting a few dogs that ran in front of him on the freeway. I was only going 40 miles an hour, it was foggy and by the time I realized that he had come to a complete stop it was too late and I crashed in the rear of his trailer. I picked up my accident report today and for some odd reason I am the one at fault for 22350 VC Basic speed law. There are also a few other errors on the accident report. How do I go about appealing it?
HOWEVER, THERE ARE ALSO LAWS DESCRIBING HOW CLOSE YOU CAN FOLLOW A VEHICLE.
HERE IT LOOKS LIKE IT WAS AN EMERGENCY STOP, NOT A RANDOM ONE
A: When you rear end someone it usually is your fault. The law states you should only be going as fast so that you can stop if the vehicle stops in front of you. What if it was a small child the truck stopped for? Do you think it would still be the truck's fault. As far as appealing it... I have been doing personal injury a long time and I have never seen an accident report get changed. You might be able to add a supplemental statement but rear ending someone is the issue and "other errors" don't change the basic finding of you being at fault. If you have a good insurance policy you should still be covered to get your car fixed.. but if there were injuries then it gets a little more complicated and you should sit down with an attorney and get a consultation to know what your rights are.
A: The basic speed law you were cited for violating provides: "No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property." Which means that if you rear-end the truck when he hits the brakes it's your fault because you didn't either drive slower or leave sufficient distance behind him to stop in time.
A: Vehicle Code section 21718 is the code you are referring to that says drivers cannot stop on the freeway; however, the code provides an exception that allows drivers to stop to avoid injury or damage to persons or property. The situation you are describing would fall under this exception. Like the others have said, there are basic speed laws that would likely place you at fault for not being able to stop. There is also Vehicle Code section 21703 that states "The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the roadway."
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