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Today I had an accident with a truck stopped on the roadside for doing some road work with no signs showing that. Only the flashers were on.

My question is Should that truck have had. Only the hazards were on. I live in the state of Georgia.

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  • These rules are surely different in different countries, and in some countries they are set by the province or state. Where did this happen? – phoog Jan 2 at 16:12
  • Just edited my question. Georgia, US – Mahdi Razaz Jan 2 at 16:19
  • Did you get a police report? What does it say? – BlueDogRanch Jan 2 at 16:23
  • Officer says it was my negligence. – Mahdi Razaz Jan 2 at 16:47
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Almost everywhere, in any circumstances, it is the driver's responsibility to operate their vehicle so as not to get in an accident.

When two drivers collide, responsibility can be divided among them depending on the details.

However, when a driver hits a stopped object (including another vehicle), it is always the driver's fault for not operating his vehicle safely.

It is possible the other vehicle may also receive a minor parking ticket or similar infraction for stopping on a shoulder or other invalid place. But that citation will not do anything at all to relieve your responsibility to operate your car without hitting obstacles.

  • It's not always the driver's fault. There was a case here a while back where the owner of the parked car was ruled at fault -- because he'd added decorative cutouts to his car's lights, with the side effect of covering up every reflective surface on the vehicle. Between that and the black paint job, he'd made the car nearly invisible at night. – Mark Jan 3 at 3:17
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You say the vehicle you hit was stopped "for doing some roadwork"; I assume, therefore, it was a highway maintenance vehicle.

Georgia's Move Over Law states, in part:

(b) The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary towing or recovery vehicle or a stationary highway maintenance vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, or red lights shall approach the vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:

(1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the towing, recovery, or highway maintenance vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

(2) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

Georgia law states that you should have been prepared to stop if the highway maintenance vehicle had its lights flashing, which you indicate it did.

Most, if not all states, have similar "move over laws." Note that some states, such as Louisiana, define any stopped vehicle with flashing lights as an "emergency vehicle" requiring extra caution by drivers.

One additional note, hitting any stationary vehicle with yours will generally be considered negligence on your part and result in a citation and other consequences.

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    Move Over laws may be a bit of a red herring here, as your last sentence pretty much sums it up. Even if the vehicle didn't have its hazards on, or if it was just a regular vehicle with no warning lights whatsoever, it's still very likely the OP's fault for hitting a parked vehicle. – Nuclear Wang Jan 2 at 18:22
  • @NuclearWang - I struggled with this one. The answer in my last line, which I almost started with, seems so obvious as to not need mentioning. The actual question asked of whether or not flashing lights are enough, though, is why I went on about the "move over law." It's not enough not to hit the vehicle, you're actually supposed to be so attentive that you take an additional pro-active step for safety. It's a parked truck with flashing lights on the side of the road and the question is, "shouldn't there have been signs?" – Dave D Jan 2 at 20:12
  • @NuclearWang Sure, it the truck was parked in a legal parking space, but i'd bet that the truck was stopped somewhere along a road where stopping would ordinarily be prohibited. – user71659 Jan 2 at 23:10
  • No it was not on a highway. It is basically a small road connecting our apartment complex to the main road. The hazard lights are two small lights on the trailer. – Mahdi Razaz Jan 2 at 23:59
  • @user71659 Even if the truck was parked illegally, that doesn't necessarily absolve the OP of fault. This might be deemed shared fault in some states, but hitting a vehicle with its hazards on parked on a neighborhood street is probably just the OP's fault, regardless of the legality of the parking. The OP caused the accident, and the pictures show the parking job did not impede the OP's ability to see or avoid the truck. Maybe if the truck was parked on a high-speed road on a curve or over a hill, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. – Nuclear Wang Jan 3 at 15:08

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