Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

The Rules of the Road and Car Crashes in Missouri

Missouri Rules of the Road

As a Kansas City personal injury lawyer, I vet a lot of potential car crash cases. One of the first things I look into is whether any of Missouri’s rules of the road were broken. You can’t get money compensation in a car crash case unless the other driver broke one of the rules of the road. Although not an exhaustive list, many of those rules are found in section 304 of Missouri’s statutes. Here are a few of those statutes and the rules that they create.

Right Turns: Turn Into the Closest Right Lane

Section 304.341 requires that drivers making a right turn onto a roadway are to turn into the closest lane to the right. Specifically, it states, “Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.” So, if someone makes too wide of a turn, or turns into the middle or left lane of a multi-lane road, and causes a collision, he or she is at fault for the crash.

Missouri Left Lane Law 

Missouri Revised Statute 304.015  states when driving on a highway with a total of two lanes (one lane in each direction) drivers must drive in the right-hand lane.  Obviously, a driver may cross into the other lane to overtake a vehicle if the pass can be made safely. 

On highways with a total of four or more lanes (two or more lanes in each direction), a driver is mandated to drive in the right lane unless passing slower traffic, letting another driver have enough room to enter the highway safely, or preparing to make a legal left turn. 

Once you have completed the pass, Missouri law REQUIRES you to return to the right lane. It is not legal or safe to continuously drive in the left lane.

Don’t Follow Too Closely

Section 304.017 prohibits riding someone’s tail. Specifically, it states, “The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonably safe and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the roadway.” This means that if someone crashes into you when you stop, there’s a chance he or she is guilty of following too closely and would then be at fault for the crash.

Use Your Blinker

Section 304.019 requires drivers to use their blinkers or turn signals when passing or changing lanes. Specifically, it says, “No person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of or turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal.” This means that if someone turns into your lane suddenly and without using their blinker and causes a crash, he or she is at fault.

There are many more rules of the road in section 304, and there are many more rules elsewhere. Common sense is one of the best sources for these rules. Regardless of the source, money compensation is owed in a crash case only when a rule of the road is broken.

How We Can Help 

If you or someone you know is involved in a car crash, do not hesitate to reach out to  Meyerkord, Russell & Hergott. Our Kansas City car accident attorneys are happy to offer a free consultation and answer any questions you may have.

Contact us today at 816.867.8611 to learn more.