Suspected Drunk Driver Strikes Patrol Car, Injures Metro Police Officer
A suspected drunk driver injured a Metro police officer after striking his vehicle in the westbound lanes of Interstate 24 early Sunday morning.
According to a report by wkrn.com, the accident occurred near exit 62 around 12:30 a.m.
A spokesperson with the Metro police department told wkrn that the accident occurred when the officer was in the middle of responding to a nearby crash when the intoxicated man drove his SUV into the driver’s side of the injured police officer’s patrol cruiser. The impact of the collision caused the SUV to flip over and catch on fire.
Emergency responders were forced to shut down the interstate for two hours as they investigated the accident cleaned up the accident scene. The officer who was involved in the crash suffered only minor injuries, while the driver of the SUV was transported to a local hospital to receive treatment for his injuries.
The driver of the SUV will also be charged with driving under the influence after police determined that he was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
Why Is the “Move Over” Law so Important?
Tennessee passed a law in 2006 that requires all drivers to move over into adjacent lanes when they see stopped emergency vehicles in the road ahead. Those vehicles include police cruisers, ambulances, firetrucks, rescue vehicles, and more. Known as the “Move Over” law, this legislation was designed to help save the lives of rescue personnel and law enforcement throughout the state.
This law is vital for all drivers to follow for several reasons, such as:
- It helps keep all drivers on the same page.
Many drivers moved over for emergency vehicles before the law was passed, but not all did. As enforcement of the law increases and more and more drivers become aware of it, the sight of flashing lights in the road ahead will cause drivers to switch more lanes more quickly, making the flow of traffic smoother when approaching accident scenes.
- It protects emergency responders, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and paramedics.
For emergency responders, being outside of their vehicles near roadway—especially high-speed interstates or highways—can be dangerous. Vehicles traveling at 70 miles per hour or faster can pass within just a few feet of them or their vehicles—and that means even a brief moment of distraction by drivers can lead to serious or even fatal injuries.
- It forces drivers to slow down and be cautious and alert if unable to change lanes.
The “Move Over” law doesn’t require drivers to change lanes no matter what. Instead, drivers are only required to switch lanes when it’s safe to do so without potentially putting themselves or other drivers at risk. As an alternative, police and highway officials recommend that drivers slow down and be extra cautious when driving emergency vehicles or construction sites when they’re unable to switch lanes.
- It creates a safer working environment for road crews and highway emergency response units.
No one should feel unsafe at work, but too many emergency responders and road construction and repair workers have been injured or killed due to being struck by passing vehicles in Tennessee. While the “Move Over” law can’t eliminate these accidents completely, it can significantly reduce their likelihood of occurring while also giving these workers more peace of mind.
Road safety isn’t just for drivers—it’s for everyone who shares the road, including those who are assisting others or helping to make sure the road stays safe and well-maintained. All Tennessee drivers should always follow the “Move Over” law to give emergency responders and construction crews the space they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, whether you were in a vehicle or stopped on the side of the road, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your accident-related expenses. The Nashville car accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law know what it takes to build claims that get results. Get in touch with us today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or filling out a free online consultation form.