What is Missouri’s “Steer It, Clear It” Law?
If you live or drive in Missouri, you need to be aware of the state’s “Steer It, Clear It” law. The primary purpose of “Steer It, Clear It” is to prevent obstruction to traffic flow in minor traffic accidents where no one is injured by having the drivers move their vehicles to the side of the road.
Although it is the law, the “Steer It, Clear It” requirement can cause confusion when you are involved in an accident. To ensure you understand what to do in the case of a car accident and how to implement the “Steer It, Clear It” law, take a look at the following breakdown.
What is the “Steer It, Clear It” Law?
“Steer It, Clear It” is a traffic law in the state of Missouri which states that if there is a traffic accident in which no one is seriously injured or killed, and your car is safe to drive, then you must re-enter your vehicle and move it to the shoulder of the road. The law comes from traffic regulations 304.151 and 304.155, enacted in 1996 and 2009, respectively.
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), you should move your vehicle out of direct traffic if you are in a minor car crash. MoDOT states that by following this law, you keep yourself safe, improve safety conditions for rescue personnel, and help prevent secondary collisions.
If you are involved in a non-injury minor collision, MoDOT suggests taking the following steps.
- Check for injuries. If there are injuries, call 911 and wait for first responders. If not, proceed to the next step.
- If your vehicle is safe to move, re-enter and move it to the shoulder of the road.
- If possible, stay in your car with your seatbelt fastened. If you must exit the vehicle, try not to re-enter traffic and use flares, flashlights, or hazard lights to warn other drivers.
- Finally, gather the other driver’s contact and insurance information and report the accident to law enforcement and your insurance provider.
What Should You Do if You Are Involved in a Car Accident?
You should follow MoDOT’s instructions following a minor car accident; however, additional steps are taken after any car accident if the crash caused injury to you or a passenger in your vehicle.
- Visit the Doctor’s Office: After any car accident, visit the doctor. If your injuries are severe, you’ll be taken to the hospital by first responders, but if the accident is minor, you will need to schedule an appointment on your own. This is vital because injuries such as whiplash, neck injuries, back injuries, internal swelling or bleeding, and traumatic brain injuries may cause serious damage without you being aware until complications arise.
- Provide Necessary Information: Only provide necessary information to the other parties involved in the crash and police and insurance companies. From a legal standpoint, if you admit guilt in a car accident, you can be held liable for your injuries by making a statement that the accident is your fault.
- Document the Incident: If you are not seriously injured, take pictures of the scene of the accident. Keep any reports that are taken and get the contact information of the other parties and witnesses. If you are injured, keep pictures of your injuries and records of your medical treatment.
- Seek Legal Counsel: The final thing to do after an accident is to seek legal counsel. It is always a good idea to retain a lawyer who is aware of the situation and can advise you of the best legal actions to take depending on the circumstances of your crash.
Seeking Legal Help
When you are involved in a car accident, even if it seems minor, it is vital to seek legal counsel soon after the collision. Many people lose out on compensation they could have won for their injuries because they waited too long to contact a lawyer. Some serious injuries don’t show up right away but end up costing you thousands of dollars in medical bills as they worsen with time.
In Missouri, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is five years from the date of the incident or from the date the injury is discovered. Reach out to an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer after your collision for representation when seeking compensation.
Contact Cofman Townsley for a Free Consultation
When you or a family member is injured in a car accident, contact Cofman Townsley Attorneys at Law as soon as possible. One of our knowledgeable car accident lawyers will be able to review your case and advise you on the best legal course of action to take. Call our law office to arrange your free, confidential consultation so you can explore your legal options and receive compensation.