Use Caution and Move Over for Emergency Vehicles
Posted on January 6th, 2016 by Zane Cagle
A repeated topic of our blog has been the danger first responders and police often are in when they assist motorists on highways/interstates after a crash or when a car breaks down.
Photo Posted Today by Missouri State Highway Patrol
According to the Patrol social media page, one of their trooper vehicles was struck while working a crash which is believed to have occurred today. At this point, no further information is available regarding which interstate or highway. This will make the second crash of a stationary patrol car in 2016.
USE CAUTION AND MOVE OVER FOR STATIONARY VEHILCLES
The work of the Missouri Highway Patrol is frequently dangerous. The troopers work fatal crashes and serious injury crashes across Missouri. Car crashes and truck crashes are by nature dangerous for all involved. The victims of the crashes often need immediate medical treatment and often troopers are the first responders on the scene.
Troopers and first responders are highly trained and frequently make the difference between life and death for many.
Help Them Out!
If you are traveling on an interstate or highway and see a vehicle on the side of the road—-slow down. If possible, move to the outside lane away from the stationary vehicle.
I have stood on an interstate with officers and accident experts as they examined evidence from a fatal crash and, it was frightening how fast vehicles traveled past us. It was even more frightening when I realized that some of the passing drivers(traveling anywhere from 65-95 mph) may or may not have even noticed us in flashing safety vehicles!
Two Crashes Since First of the Year
Since January 1, 2016, there have been two incidents where police cars were hit while officers were assisting in a motor vehicle crash. It occurred last Friday morning around 2:45 a.m. when Kansas City Police officers were working the scene of a serious injury car crash. While an officer’s car was parked at the scene, a drunk driver in a red Dodge drove around several police vehicles into oncoming traffic and hit the patrol wagon head-0n.
This follows a hit-and-run on December 26, 2015 in Kansas City where two police officers were injured when a driver crashed into their patrol car at 38th Street and Benton Boulevard
Since January 1, 2016, there have been two incidents where police cars were hit while officers were assisting in a motor vehicle crash. It occurred last Friday morning around 2:45 a.m. when a Kansas City Police officer was working a scene of a car that crashed into a building after striking a telephone pole, seriously injuring a female victim. While the officer’s car was parked at the scene, a drunk driver in a red Dodge drove around several police vehicles into oncoming traffic and hit a patrol wagon head-0n.
This follows a hit-and-run on December 26, 2015 in Kansas City where two police officers were injured when a driver crashed into their patrol car at 38th Street and Benton Boulevard.
Failure to Observe Your Surroundings
Failing to see a stationary vehicle with lights flashing very much seems like “failing to observe your surroundings”, in fact, failing to notice an entire crash and an emergency vehicle is frequently negligent and preventable. In rare occasions, weather can be such to reduce visibility but in those situations, drivers should be traveling at a much reduced speed to better see vehicles in front of them.
Too many road assistance workers, troopers, firemen and other first responders have lost their lives or been seriously injured while they were simply doing their job and assisting victims.
If you are in a crash, you will very much look forward to seeing the troopers in blue! If you fail to see a patrol car or ambulance on the side of the interstate, you need to re-evaluate if it is a safe speed. Second, you need to evaluate if you are keeping a safe lookout if you miss an entire vehicle on the roadway in front of you.
SLOW DOWN and MOVE OVER.
If You Have Been Involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident or if Your Vehicle Becomes Stranded….
If your involved in a crash, you know to immediately call 911, however, if your car becomes stranded or if you see someone stranded on an interstate or highway, call 911. If for any reason, your car has to stop due to a crash or a break down, you are not out of immediate danger just because you get your car to the shoulder. In the examples above, officer’s vehicles were struck by various individuals while they were working a crash scene, thus it becomes even more apparent that your vehicle on the side of the road can be hit by any number of passing vehicles. Call for help immediately and get a safe distance from your car if possible.
As a fellow interstate or highway driver, keep a look out for stationary vehicles and please slow down and use caution to keep our troopers, officers, first responders and crash victims as safe as possible.
If you’ve been injured, you will certainly have questions. Our attorneys are available for free, confidential consultations.
Call us seven days a week, (314) 276-1681