Duties When Involved in an Accident
A number of statutes govern the duty of drivers involved in accidents. Of course, the law prohibits a driver involved in an accident from leaving the scene, i.e., a “hit and run.” The code requires a driver involved in an accident which results in injury or death to another, or damage to a vehicle, to immediately stop at the scene or “as close thereto as possible.” In that situation, a driver must both provide information and render aid. The code section also requires a driver to remain at the scene until the these requirements are met and goes on to state that “[e]very such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary”. Note that, a first conviction for leaving the scene of an accident will disqualify a CMV driver for 1 year.
The statute is not limited to those whose vehicles actually make contact in an accident. Rather, the question is whether the driver is “involved.” In Bellamy v. Edwards, the Court of Appeals held that a jury was authorized to find that a defendant engaged with others in the joint enterprise of drag racing was thereby “involved” in a collision that took place as a result, despite the fact that his vehicle was not part of the actual collision. Accordingly, the trial court was held to have properly charged the jury as to the statutory duties of comply with regulation.