Police cars and Caltrans truck pulled over on side of highway.

Police cars and Caltrans truck pulled over on side of highway.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a press release about a disturbing trend happening across the U.S. Apparently, several states have reported increases in drivers failing to move over and crashing into emergency responder vehicles. According to the NHTSA, in the first three months of 2019, drivers in Illinois hit 15 State Police troopers or vehicles, while the officers were stopped along the road with their lights flashing. Two of those crashes resulted in the deaths of State Troopers. In Illinois, that’s nearly double the number of this type of crash for the entire year in 2018. Other states have reported similar findings.

Keeping First Responders Safe

Traffic-related incidents continue to be one of the top causes of death for on-duty law enforcement officers, so if you see flashing lights, move over and slow down. Give them room to do their jobs safely. Above all, never engage in distracted behaviors behind the wheel. If you’re looking at your phone, you’re not paying attention to your surroundings. Whether you’re on a busy city street or a quiet rural highway, put your phone down, and watch the road.

Move Over, It’s The Law

At this time, every state, including California, has a law requiring drivers to slow down and move over when they see flashing lights. In California, drivers have to slow down and move over for the flashing amber lights of roadside workers too. If you see flashing lights, slow down and move over a lane. If you can’t move over a lane, slow down to a safe speed for passing first responders and roadway workers. Busy roadways are their workspaces, and they deserve a reasonable amount of space and safety from motorists.

Car Accidents Involving Distracted Drivers

Making a commitment to distraction-free driving is the best way to improve roadway safety for yourself and everybody else on the road. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and safety advocates across the nation are calling on motorists to put their phones down and pay attention to the road.

If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident involving a distracted driver in San Diego or anywhere along the Central Coast, contact the skilled and proven team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free case consultation today.

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