Move Over Law Continues to Save Lives in Tennessee
Tennessee’s Move Over law was first enacted in the state in 2003, and it has saved countless lives since then by requiring drivers to change lanes and move away from stopped emergency vehicles.
A staff report by wkrn.com states that all vehicles used by the Tennessee Highway Patrol display bumper stickers memorializing a state trooper who was killed on the side of a road in Dickson County on July 8, 2005, when he was struck by a tractor trailer.
A representative with the THP says that since the trooper’s death, more and more drivers have become aware of the Move Over law and how important it is for protecting the safety of police officers, state troopers, and other emergency responders.
The THP representative also stated that while awareness of the law is at an all-time high, it’s important for drivers to understand that it only applies if it’s safe for them to change lanes. If moving away puts them or other drivers at risk, they should stay in their lanes, slow down, and proceed with caution when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle.
The Nashville car accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law hope that all drivers in Tennessee heed to the Move Over law when safe to do so, as it’s a highly effective way to reduce the risks that emergency responders face every time they pull their vehicles to the side of the road.
What Should You Do If You See a Stopped Emergency Vehicle?
If you see a police car or ambulance stopped on the side of the road up ahead, it’s important to follow a few rules to keep yourself and the emergency responders safe, including:
- Slow down as you approach the vehicle.
The first thing you should do when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle is to slow down. Reducing your speed gives you a chance to survey both the traffic in front of you and to the side of you while also reducing the risk you pose to the emergency workers who may be standing on the side of the road.
- Change lanes if it is safe to do so.
After you’ve slowed down, check the lane next to you that’s away from the stopped emergency vehicle. If it’s clear or you have an opening, change lanes as soon as it’s safe to do so. Placing the distance of a full lane of traffic between your vehicle and the stopped emergency vehicle makes a big difference in the level of risk for both you and the police officer or EMS crews on the side of the road.
- Stay in your lane until you’ve passed the stopped vehicles.
Once you’ve changed lanes, remain in the new lane until you’ve completely passed all stopped emergency vehicles. Police and EMS workers responding to crash scenes may stop at various points along the side of the road, so don’t move back to your original lane until the side of the road is completely clear of stopped vehicles.
Police officers, state troopers, and emergency responders often put their lives at risk in order to help people who are injured or in distress. Stopping at accident scenes is one of the biggest dangers they face, but the Move Over law is a big step in the right direction towards protecting these workers as they assist others.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville car accident attorneys know that the Move Over law has saved countless lives since it was first enacted, but too many people are still injured on the state’s highways and interstates every day. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Tennessee, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your accident-related expenses. Get in touch with our legal team today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or fill out a free online form to see how we can help you.