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Crossing Double Yellow Lines & Car Accidents

Is it illegal to cross a double yellow line? Sometimes. But apparently only if you just happen to drift across the lines. California Vehicle Code Section 21460(a) makes it illegal to cross a double yellow line ("If double parallel solid yellow lines are in place, a person driving a vehicle shall not drive to the left of the lines . . ."). However, under California Vehicle Code Section 21460(d) it is legal to cross double yellow lines to turn at an intersection, or to enter/exit a driveway or private road.

If someone crosses a double yellow line and is in a car accident, you may have to look past this law, especially if the person was turning into/out of a driveway. The other statutes to consider in in a case involving a turn across double yellow lines are California Vehicle Code Section 22107, which prohibits turning when it is not safe to do so:

No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.

22107 makes reference to "an appropriate signal." This, of course, refers to a turn signal. A turn signal is required for the last 100 feet before any turn. The statute is California Vehicle Code Section 22108, which provides:

Any signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.

Of course, the "basic speed law" should always be considered as well. This statute provides that a driver must not drive faster than is safe for the conditions. The law is California Vehicle Code Section 22350, which provides

A person must drive at a reasonable speed. Whether a particular speed is reasonable depends on the circumstances such as traffic, weather, visibility, and road conditions. Drivers must not drive so fast that they create a danger to people or property.

Whether a turn is the legal cause of a collision can be a very complex and fluid matter, turning on whether a car's speed, whether it signaled, whether it was safe to turn and other statutes and rules of the road (like the double yellow line rule).

If you've been hurt in an auto accident in which the other driver crossed double yellow lines, call our Oakland car accident lawyer at Clancy & Diaz, LLP to learn about your legal options!

Categories: Car Accidents