When an accident occurs on the roads – whether it’s a bicycle accident, car accident, or truck accident – emergency vehicles will generally arrive on the scene. Larger fire trucks, tow trucks, ambulances, and police vehicles all converge to help those who may be injured in the accident, but the presence of these vehicles and especially the presence of larger trucks creates a greater risk of secondary accidents. Secondary accidents can occur when motorists passing an accident or other problem fail to keep their eyes on the road. Secondary accidents can also occur if trucks and emergency vehicles are not given enough room.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is trying to prevent secondary trucking accidents and car accidents with a safety education program. The department is trying to raise awareness about Florida’s Move Over Law. The law protects police officers, tow truck drivers, firefighters, and other personnel who may be at an accident scene or at the scene of another roadside problem. Under the law:
1) Motorists are required to move over if they see a tow truck, police car, fire truck, wrecker, or emergency vehicle on the side of the road with lights flashing. If motorists cannot safely move over, they are required slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit. This allows the emergency workers at the scene to have the room they need to work safely. This law is also designed to help prevent the serious pedestrian accidents which occur when emergency vehicle workers are struck by passing motorists.
2) Motorists are required to move to a further lane on a multi-lane roadway (if it is safe to do so) when approaching a stopped police car, fire truck, tow truck, wrecker, or emergency vehicle that has its lights flashing. Motorists are also expected to use extra caution when passing by or driving by past these vehicles. Drivers of fire trucks, tow trucks, and other emergency response vehicles need extra room to do their job and may need to move their vehicles unexpectedly to deal with a situation on the roadside. The Move Over Law is designed to help prevent any accidents when emergency personnel are responding to a call.
3) Motorists are required to not impede traffic and must obey any law enforcement officer at the scene of an accident or other problem where a police car, fire truck, tow truck, wrecker, or emergency vehicle is stopped. Failure to slow down, move over, or use extra caution around these emergency vehicles will result in a citation.
If you are injured by a driver who is not obeying the Move Over Law, you may be eligible for assistance because any such driver is being negligent. Contact a qualified Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your case. If you have suffered a serious injury, your attorney can help you receive a fair claim which can help you pay for medical costs and other expenses. Attorneys at the Flaxman Group have helped many traffic accident victims get the help they need. If you need a Florida personal injury attorney who can help, contact the Flaxman Group.