In 2017, the National Safety Council reported an estimated 40,100 motor-vehicle-related deaths in the United States.
Many laws have been created in the past and in recent years in an effort to combat these tragic numbers from continuing to climb, including everything from wearing seat belts to giving pedestrians the right of way.
Even so, increasingly distracted drivers and an unawareness of such laws make it much more difficult to keep the roads safe.
One of these laws is the “Move Over Law,” which requires drivers to move into another lane if it is safe to do so or to slow down when passing emergency vehicles.
And the law is no joke. The maximum fine for a violation is $500 and can even result in up to 30 days in jail.
Utah Highway Patrol stated that all 50 states have adopted the law in some way. Nonetheless, nearly 71 percent of Americans are still unaware of the law.
This law was passed in Tennessee in 2006, and was amended in 2011 to include utility service vehicles. Even so, an almost-deadly crash on April 28 is proving that it still needs more attention.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol took to social media to post several images of the result of the crash to show drivers why the law is important.
The disturbing images show a nearly-unrecognizable and entirely-smashed Ford Explorer, as well as a significantly damaged Coffee County Sheriff’s Department patrol vehicle.
“This exactly why we stress move over!” the post read. “Earlier today one of our troopers was struck by a driver who violated the move over law! Thankfully he will be okay. If you cannot tell what the vehicle is, it is a Ford Explorer.”
Thankfully, only minor injuries were reported from the accident, but it still serves as a harsh wake-up call for those who don’t think violating the “Move Over” law is a serious offense.
When it comes to staying safe on the road, moving over for stopped vehicles is a small step we can all take to help ensure tragic accident numbers do not keep rising.
So the next time you see an emergency vehicle, flashing lights, or even a passenger vehicle stopped on the side of the road, give them space and move into another lane — it may just save a life.
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