We have all been there, cars everywhere, yet not a single way to reach the exit to our destination. It is hard not to feel frustrated with the number of times one gets lost in a sea of cars moving slowly and stopping every couple of seconds, especially when we are in a rush to get to our destination, or after a long day at work when we only want to get home and rest. In those kinds of circumstances, it is very common to feel like you can make your exit if you could use the one lane that is empty, the emergency lane.
Many may not be aware that you cannot use it because that lane is designed for emergency situations only. Why shouldn’t you take the emergency lane? Well, first of all, if you use it, maybe other drivers on the road could also follow up on your idea and soon the lane will be blocked. Worst case scenario, there is an accident ahead, and the ambulance trying to get to the scene of the accidents can’t get through because you are blocking the lane.
Second, drivers can face hefty fines or even jail time for passing or using the shoulder as a traffic lane. You can also get points on your driver’s license, which are assigned based on traffic violations and can result in license suspension or revocation. All of that should be enough to prevent you from using the lane as a way to get to your destination faster.
On the other hand, you may end up driving in the emergency lane sometimes, so it is good to know which kinds of scenarios allow you to do so. The Federal Highway Administration explains that “Aside from their structural benefits for pavement and drainage, shoulders provide refuge for vehicles in emergency situations, access for first responders, and an additional recovery area for drivers trying to avoid conflicts in the adjoining travel lanes.” First, If a law enforcement official or first respondent ask you to move to the emergency lane, do it. They have the authority and you need to comply. Second, in case of an emergency, or in case of a major technical problem with your car, the emergency lane will provide a safe place for you to park your vehicle and wait for help.
Overall, do your bank account and your fellow motorists and first responders a favor and avoid driving on the shoulder unless you’re in distress or an officer of the law directs you there.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, contact Maidenberg law Group for a free consultation. Call us toll-free at (888) 520-9617, or contact The Maidenberg Law Group online.