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Ignoring move-over laws raises risk of motor vehicle accidents

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2021 | Firm News

In Kentucky and across the United States, people on the road should be aware of the possibility of an auto accident. That goes beyond drivers and passengers and extends to first responders and road workers. While the common catalysts of accidents like distracted driving, speeding and drunk drivers are still a concern, disobeying move-over laws is increasingly worrisome. If there is a crash because of a vehicle failing to adhere to the law, it is imperative for those who were injured and families who lost a loved one to know the available options.

Survey of at-risk workers

Legislators, law enforcement and tow truck drivers took part in a survey conducted by AAA about move-over laws. Like many states, Kentucky has move-over laws to try and enhance safety for first responders and others who are on the road. It has been in effect for 18 years. With it, drivers are obligated to change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle with its flashing lights activated. Ten years ago, it was extended to public safety and emergency vehicles. That includes tow trucks and utility vehicles. However, as this research indicates, a troubling number of drivers simply disregard the law.

Nearly 70% gave anecdotal evidence that drivers fail to slow down when there are workers ahead. Ninety percent said they felt their lives were in danger due to a driver failing to move over. Thirty percent said it is a routine occurrence. Kentucky was one of the 13 states that were part of the survey. A press release from AAA Blue Grass says that 24 first responders lose their lives annually during roadside work. The move-over law in the state is not having the desired impact and solutions are still being sought. The hope is that public awareness will reduce the number of violations.

Having guidance after an auto accident is essential

Injuries and loss of life can happen in any type of auto accident, but when it is a first responder stopped on the side of the road, they are inherently vulnerable. These collisions happen without warning and the workers are often outside the vehicle when they happen, leaving them with no protection. Since this is a known problem, it is important for those who might have been hurt and lost a loved one to understand their rights. Medical costs, lost time at work, long-term damage and other challenges are common. Evidence must be accrued to determine how the accident happened, if the driver was ignoring the law and any other factor. Having professional assistance is key when deciding how to proceed.