If you live in Washington, chances are you have hopped into the HOV lane on your way somewhere, at some point. HOV is an acronym for high occupancy vehicle.

What Is The Purpose Of The HOV Lane?

Washington uses HOV lanes to move as many drivers through traffic jams as possible, especially during high traffic hours of the day such as morning after work commutes. HOV lanes are important because, when they are used correctly, they decrease the threat of getting into an accident on the road.

Who Can Use The HOV Lane?

According to Washington State highway and traffic safety laws, only the following vehicles are permitted to use HOV lanes:

  • Standard passenger cars with at least two occupants inside
  • Vans with one or more passengers inside
  • School buses, public transit buses or miniature buses
  • Motorcycles
  • Any other vehicle that can safely contain multiple occupants

Where Are HOV Lanes Located In Washington?

If you have driven around Washington state, chances are you may have seen an HOV lane on the side of a freeway, highway or other public road. HOV lanes are generally right beside general purpose lanes, where vehicles with only one occupant must ride. Different HOV lanes have different minimum requirements when it comes to vehicle occupancy — some HOV lanes will require that the car has at least two occupants, while other HOV lanes impose a minimum of three occupants inside the vehicle.

Since there are many different kinds of HOV lanes in the great state of Washington, it’s easy to be confused by all the many different rules that govern them. As if knowing the rules surrounding HOV lanes in Washington was not difficult enough, there are HOV hotspots set up all around the state to make sure drivers are not “cheating” the laws of the HOV lane.

Where Are The HOV Lane Hotspots Located In Washington?

Washington state patrol records have released pertinent information regarding the location of hotspots in Washington. HOV cheater hot spots are where you’re most likely to get caught if you are in violation of applicable HOV lane law. 

According to this list, key HOV lane hotspot locations in Washington include:

  • The northbound I-405 curve north of Renton
  • The northbound I-5, south of the West Seattle Bridge
  • The southbound I-5, south of Everett

At these HOV lane hotspot locations in Washington, thousands of drivers get tickets for improperly using these lanes. Each year many drivers must pay fees for these violations, and some are even repeat offenders. 

What Are The Consequences If You Get Caught At An HOV Lane Hotspot?

Traffic laws must be obeyed at all times, with no exceptions. If you are caught driving in an HOV lane without properly adhering to the applicable laws, you will be punished. On top of being penalized by the law, driving in an HOV lane without the proper authorization or credentials can lead to an increase in traffic congestion on the Washington highways, freeways, and other roads. As you may have guessed, an increase in traffic congestion will certainly heighten the risk of an accident. Single rider use of HOV lanes typically peaks during hours of the day that see high traffic, as well as in locations that see high traffic, 

It’s always important to follow applicable traffic laws–not only because it helps you avoid paying a fee or getting a penalty, but because it mitigates the risk of a serious car accident occurring. If you have been involved in a car accident in Washington, whether in the HOV lane or in regular traffic, you should consider scheduling a consultation with a personal injury law firm in Washington.

How Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me Recover After A Car Accident?

After getting into a car accident in the HOV lane, it’s crucial to get medical help right away. Never run the risk of dealing with a serious injury after an accident, and not having it examined by a professional. Go to the hospital or schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as you can after getting into the accident. The most important thing is making sure you’re safe. Next call the police and get a police report filed at the scene. Get all contact information from the other people involved in the HOV lane car accident, including their insurance company information. 

Next, call a personal injury lawyer to consult with them about filing a claim. The only way to hold the at fault party accountable is to do so. Call Church and Page and schedule a free car accident consultation if you have been hurt in a car accident.