AUTO ACCIDENT – OTHER CAR FOLLOWED TOO CLOSE – INJURY ATTORNEYS MINNESOTA
When there is a dispute over who was at fault in causing a car accident in Minnesota, the issue sometimes has to be decided by a jury or judge. However, most of the cases our auto accident injury lawyers in MN handle do not involve disputes over who was at fault. Most of our cases are fought with the auto insurance company over the extent of the injury or whether the claimed injury is related to the accident. One of the reasons there are fewer fights over fault, is that Minnesota has specific rules of the road which will be used to guide a jury or judge, and most of the underlying facts can be proven with existing evidence such as witnesses, skid marks, where the impact is on the cars, etc. Often, one of the drivers in a car accident will admit they were at fault. However, sometimes our car accident attorneys have to prove the case through witnesses, police officers, and even hire an accident reconstructionist. If there is a dispute over who caused the accident, these rules of the road, which are the laws of Minnesota, are read to the jury. When you call our office for a free consultation, a top car accident lawyer will go over the facts of the crash with you and determine the applicable rules, such as following too closely.
When another driver follows your car too closely, there are many opportunities for an accident. If traffic slows ahead of you, the driver following too closely will rear-end you. Likewise if a stop light changed and you slow down and the car following too closely doesn’t slow and stop in time there can be a collision when it runs into your car.
Here are the MN laws about keeping to the right and following too closely:
2013 Minnesota Statutes
169.18 DRIVING RULES.
Subdivision 1. Keep to the right.
Upon all roadways of sufficient width a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:
(1) when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement;
(2) when the right half of a roadway is closed to traffic while under construction or repair;
(3) upon a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon;
(4) upon a roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic as a one-way roadway;
(5) as necessary to comply with subdivision 11 when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle parked or stopped on the roadway; or
(6) as necessary to comply with subdivision 12 when approaching a road maintenance or construction vehicle parked or stopped on the roadway.
Subd. 2. Meeting.
Drivers of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions, shall pass each other to the right, and upon roadways having width for not more than one line of traffic in each direction each driver shall give to the other at least one-half of the main-traveled portion of the roadway, as nearly as possible.
Subd. 3. Passing.
The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to the limitations, exceptions, and special rules hereinafter stated:
(1) the driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle;
(2) except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible warning, and shall not increase the speed of the overtaken vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle; and
(3) the operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle or individual proceeding in the same direction on the roadway shall leave a safe distance, but in no case less than three feet clearance, when passing the bicycle or individual and shall maintain clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle or individual.
Subd. 4. Passing on the right.
The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only upon the following conditions:
(1) when the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;
(2) upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement not occupied by parked vehicles of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles in each direction;
(3) upon a one-way street, or upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement, where the roadway is free from obstructions and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles;
(4) when the driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving in a bicycle lane or onto the shoulder, whether paved or unpaved, or off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway.
Subd. 5. Driving left of roadway center; exception.
(a) No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken. In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to the right-hand side of the roadway before coming within 100 feet of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.
(b) Except on a one-way roadway, no vehicle shall, in overtaking and passing another vehicle or at any other time, be driven to the left half of the roadway under the following conditions:
(1) when approaching the crest of a grade or upon a curve in the highway where the driver’s view along the highway is obstructed within a distance of 700 feet;
(2) when approaching within 100 feet of any underpass or tunnel, railroad grade crossing, intersection within a city, or intersection outside of a city if the presence of the intersection is marked by warning signs; or
(3) where official signs are in place prohibiting passing, or a distinctive centerline is marked, which distinctive line also so prohibits passing, as declared in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices adopted by the commissioner.
Subd. 6. One-way traffic.
(a) Upon a roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic as a one-way roadway, a vehicle shall be driven only in the direction designated;
(b) A vehicle passing around a rotary traffic island shall be driven only to the right of such island.
Subd. 7. Laned highway.
When any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, the following rules, in addition to all others consistent herewith, shall apply:
(a) A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.
(b) Upon a roadway which is not a one-way roadway and which is divided into three lanes, a vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle where the roadway is clearly visible and such center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance, or in preparation for a left turn or where such center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the direction the vehicle is proceeding, and is signposted to give notice of such allocation. The left lane of a three-lane roadway which is not a one-way roadway shall not be used for overtaking and passing another vehicle.
(c) Official signs may be erected directing slow-moving traffic to use a designated lane or allocating specified lanes to traffic moving in the same direction, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such sign.
(d) Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway, any person operating a motor vehicle on such roadway shall not drive in the bicycle lane except to perform parking maneuvers in order to park where parking is permitted, to enter or leave the highway, or to prepare for a turn as provided in section 169.19, subdivision 1.
Subd. 8. Following vehicle too closely.
(a) 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 vehicles and the traffic upon and the conditions of the highway.
(b) The driver of any motor vehicle drawing another vehicle, or the driver of any motor truck or bus, when traveling upon a roadway outside of a business or residence district, shall not follow within 500 feet of another vehicle. The provisions of this paragraph shall not be construed to prevent overtaking and passing nor shall the same apply upon any lane specially designated for use by motor trucks.
(c) The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow within 500 feet of an authorized emergency vehicle that is traveling in response to an emergency.
Subd. 9. Divided highway; crossovers.
Whenever any highway has been divided into two or more roadways by leaving an intervening space or by a physical barrier or clearly indicated dividing section so constructed as to impede vehicular traffic, every vehicle shall be driven only upon the right-hand roadway unless directed or permitted to use another roadway by official traffic-control devices or police officers. No vehicle shall be driven over, across, or within any such dividing space, barrier section, except through an opening in such physical barrier, or dividing section or space or at a crossover or intersection established by public authority.
Subd. 10. Slow-moving vehicle.
Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway, or when a specific lane is designated and posted for a specific type of traffic.
Subd. 11. Passing parked emergency vehicle; citation; probable cause.
(a) When approaching and before passing an authorized emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated that is parked or otherwise stopped on or next to a street or highway having two lanes in the same direction, the driver of a vehicle shall safely move the vehicle to the lane farthest away from the emergency vehicle, if it is possible to do so.
(b) When approaching and before passing an authorized emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated that is parked or otherwise stopped on or next to a street or highway having more than two lanes in the same direction, the driver of a vehicle shall safely move the vehicle so as to leave a full lane vacant between the driver and any lane in which the emergency vehicle is completely or partially parked or otherwise stopped, if it is possible to do so.
(c) A peace officer may issue a citation to the driver of a motor vehicle if the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the driver has operated the vehicle in violation of this subdivision within the four-hour period following the termination of the incident or a receipt of a report under paragraph (d). The citation may be issued even though the violation was not committed in the presence of the peace officer.
(d) Although probable cause may be otherwise satisfied by other evidentiary elements or factors, probable cause is sufficient for purposes of this subdivision when the person cited is operating the vehicle described by a member of the crew of an authorized emergency vehicle responding to an incident in a timely report of the violation of this subdivision, which includes a description of the vehicle used to commit the offense and the vehicle’s license plate number. For the purposes of issuance of a citation under paragraph (c), “timely” means that the report must be made within a four-hour period following the termination of the incident.
(e) For purposes of paragraphs (a) and (b) only, the terms “authorized emergency vehicle” and “emergency vehicle” include a towing vehicle defined in section 168B.011, subdivision 12a, that has activated flashing lights authorized under section 169.64, subdivision 3, in addition to the vehicles described in the definition for “authorized emergency vehicle” in section 169.011, subdivision 3.
Subd. 12. Passing certain parked vehicles.
(a) When approaching and before passing a freeway service patrol, road maintenance, or construction vehicle with its warning lights activated that is parked or otherwise stopped on or next to a street or highway having two lanes in the same direction, the driver of a vehicle shall safely move the vehicle to the lane farthest away from the vehicle, if it is possible to do so.
(b) When approaching and before passing a freeway service patrol, road maintenance, or construction vehicle with its warning lights activated that is parked or otherwise stopped on or next to a street or highway having more than two lanes in the same direction, the driver of a vehicle shall safely move the vehicle so as to leave a full lane vacant between the driver and any lane in which the vehicle is completely or partially parked or otherwise stopped, if it is possible to do so.
If you have been injured in a car accident in MN because the other driver followed too closely and hit your car, or for any other reason, call us and speak with one of our attorneys for a free consultation. Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are Minnesota personal injury lawyers with more than 25 years of experience. Our top lawyer have successfully represented hundreds of people in car accident injury cases throughout Minnesota. An experienced auto accident lawyer will discuss your case with you, answer your questions, and explain your rights. Our MN auto accident lawyers are also happy to meet with you at our office or your home for a free consultation. A lawyer will meet with you to discuss your car accident injury case at our offices in Minneapolis MN, St. Louis Park, Woodbury, and Edina. Our best lawyers also frequently meet with people to discuss their car accident cases at their homes in St. Paul MN, Chanhassen, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Anoka MN, Maple Grove, Rogers, Brooklyn Park, Bloomington, Richfield, Apple Valley, Roseville, Maplewood, and other surrounding cities in Minnesota. There is no obligation on your part, and you never pay us anything unless you receive compensation.