Do I move my car after an accident in Michigan?

Being involved in an accident is not the best situation to be in because it comes with a lot of complicated feelings and thoughts. You might be wondering, do I move my car immediately after an accident? Will I break the law if I actually move my car immediately? For how long do I wait after an accident before I move my car? What does the law say concerning cars involved in accidents?

If these and more are your thoughts, then you definitely need to know if you should move your car or not when you are involved in an accident. This article provides useful information for the next course of action to take regarding moving your car after an accident.

Should I move my car after an accident?

There is no one specific law that applies when it comes to moving cars involved in accidents. This greatly depends on the law of the area and the circumstances surrounding the situation. You remove your car immediately after an accident if:

  • There are no severe injuries. If there is no one severely injured or killed in the accident, you can move your car immediately and you would not have violated any law.
  • Your car is fit to move. If your car is fit to move after the accident without any help from another vehicle, then you might move it. What this implies is that if the traffic light and other necessary parts of a car are still working fine, then you can move it. Also, if moving the car immediately after the accident will not pose danger to other users of the road, then you can move it.
  • No injured person will be impacted negatively. If nobody who is involved in the accident will be negatively impacted if you move the car immediately, then you can move it. If people are injured but they can still be transported in the car without worsening the situation or putting their lives in danger, then you can definitely move the car.
  • If the roads you will be moving the vehicle in are accessible. What this implies is that if you’re going to be moving the car on the road then it should be a safe thing to do. For instance, if it is snowing and you want to move your car after an accident but the situation of the road will not permit a smooth ride, it may be wise to not move the car immediately.

With all of these considerations met, you can move the car to a safer place after an accident. In situations where the car will pose danger if left in the position where it is, you must move the car out of the spot to avoid violating any traffic law.

When not to move a car after an accident

According to the Michigan traffic law, there are situations when you should not move your car after an accident. Some of them include:

  • When there are severe injuries or death. When one or more people involved in the accident is severely injured or dies and the driver is aware or should reasonably be aware, it is illegal for the driver to move the vehicle immediately after the accident.
  • When the vehicle is severely damaged. If the vehicle is so damaged that it cannot move on its own safely, it is against the law to move it out of the accident scene immediately.
  • Moving the vehicle would be unsafe. If moving the vehicle will create any kind of road hazard or negatively impact the driveway, then it should not be moved immediately after the accident occurs.
  • When it is unsafe for the people involved in the accident. If moving the car is unsafe for people who are involved in the accident and injured, then it is against the Michigan traffic law to move the vehicle after the accident.
  • The road condition does not support moving. If the condition of the road or traffic makes it unsafe for the vehicle to be moved after the accident, then it violates the Michigan traffic law if it is moved.

Should the driver leave the accident scene immediately after?

Even if you are not moving your vehicle immediately after an accident, you might be wondering if it is safe for the driver to leave the accident site immediately. According to the law, the driver is not permitted to leave the accidents immediately after.


However, if it is a case of medical emergency and one needs to be treated urgently, then the driver can leave the scene. Also, if the driver thinks it is dangerous to remain at the scene after the accident, he may leave but must call 911 immediately or report the situation to the nearest police station.


Certain laws and penalties apply when a driver violates the law by leaving the accident scene unpermitted. Where no one is injured but there are damages, the driver who lives at this scene will be penalized with the maximum of $100 fine or jailed for up to 90 days.


In a situation where one or more people have sustained injuries and the driver leaves the scene, he may be punished by paying up to $1,000 and/or a jail term up to one year. If anyone is killed in an accident and the driver leaves the scene he will be fined up to $5,000 and maybe charged with a jail time up to 5 years.


Moving your car immediately after an accident may be dangerous in Michigan because of the traffic laws that are in place. You may also violate some Michigan traffic laws if you leave an accident scene immediately after. 


However, there are some situations where the driver can move the car or can even leave after an accident without violating any law. It is advisable to understand the laws of the place in every situation and act accordingly to avoid being penalized.

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