Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Injured after Driver Fails to Move Over

Posted in Car Accident,Negligence,Pedestrian Accident,Personal Injury on January 6, 2016

Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Injured after Driver Fails to Move Over

An accident on Tuesday served as a reminder to Tennessee residents that the state’s “Move Over” law can help save lives and prevent serious injuries to police and emergency responders.

A trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol had stopped his patrol car on Interstate 65 between Peytonsville Road and Franklin Road when he was rear-ended at high speed by another vehicle. The impact of the collision caused him to suffer serious injuries.

According to a report by wsmv.com, the trooper’s vehicle was parked in the median near the dividing wall in the northbound lanes of I-65 when the vehicle was struck by an SUV driven by a resident of Columbia, Tennessee.

Tennessee’s “Move Over” law requires that all drivers change lanes when it is safe to do so to put more room between their vehicles and emergency responders who are stopped on the side of the road.

A total of 1,111 citations were issued in Knox County from 2005 to 2014 to drivers who failed to observe the law, while Rutherford County had 295 citations and Davidson County had 262 citations.

3 Important Facts about Tennessee’s “Move Over Law”

Emergency responders play important roles when it comes to assisting stranded motorists, apprehending criminal suspects, and administering first aid to accident victims, but the nature of their work also puts them at significant risk of being injured. In response to that risk, Tennessee enacted a “Move Over Law” in 2006 that’s designed to put more space between emergency responders and passing vehicles.

Three important facts that all drivers should know about this law include:

  • The law requires lane changes unless it’s not possible or unsafe to do so.

If you are driving on a highway or interstate with multiple lanes and you have room to move over when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, you are required by law to do so. However, if you are on a road without adjacent lanes, or traffic is so heavy that it would be unsafe for you to switch lanes, you should slow down and approach the emergency vehicle with caution instead.

  • The law protects a wide variety of public employees.

Although many drivers think of police and state troopers when they think of the “Move Over Law,” it’s designed to protect several other workers as well. IN addition to law enforcement, the law also protects firefighters, paramedics and EMS workers, rescue workers, and utility workers. It’s a good idea to move over or slow down if you see any vehicle with flashing lights stopped on the side of the road.

  • The law carries stiff penalties for people who fail to observe it.

People who fail to move over for stopped emergency vehicles may be pulled over and issued a ticket. Fines for violating the law can reach anywhere from $100 to $500, and violators may even be sentenced to 30 days in jail for putting emergency workers at risk.

At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident attorneys know that emergency responders play a vital role in keeping residents of Middle Tennessee safe around the clock. We also know that too many of these workers are injured while on duty due to drivers who fail to give them the space they need on highways and interstates. Anytime you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, it’s important to be on the lookout for stopped emergency vehicles and to be prepared to slow down or move over when you’re approaching one.

If you or someone you love was recently injured in an auto accident caused by a careless or negligent driver, our legal team may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses. We have more than 20 years of experience assisting victims like you, and we’re ready to put our knowledge of the legal system to work for your family. Dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form to speak with us today.