Reports indicate that many drivers in Missouri and Illinois aren’t even aware of critical laws meant to ensure the safety of emergency workers and tow truck drivers who respond to help stranded or wrecked motorists. These laws are called the “move over” laws and require motorists to slow down and, if possible, move over when they see emergency vehicles pulled over on the side or shoulder of the road. Unfortunately, many emergency workers are injured or even killed in car accidents when motorists fail to comply with these laws.
The statistics are sobering. Some experts say that approximately 70 percent of the American public isn’t even aware of these “move over” laws. Even more disturbingly, 131 MODOT workers have lost their lives in these kinds of collisions since 1932. Equally tragically, the number of tow truck drivers who died in the U.S soared higher than 100 for that one year alone.
One tow truck driver from Illinois recently talked about the dangers that he and other tow truck drivers face when they attempt to secure vehicles stalled on the side of highways to their trucks. He said that’s his least favorite part of his work day and gives him a lot of personal dread because it only takes a momentary lapse on the part of one motorist to put his entire life at risk. He said that many motorists outright violate the “move over” laws and speed by emergency vehicles rather than moving lanes or at the very least slowing down. All that he and other such workers can do is pay as much attention as possible while they work to try to make it home each day.
One Illinois State Police trooper will never have the chance to return safe and sound to his family due to a truck driver’s apparent negligence. That tractor-trailer driver reportedly failed to slow his speed or move lanes and plowed into the trooper as he conducted a routine traffic stop along I-55. His widow has related the sheer horror of having to go through that “nightmare knock at the door” and the fact she hopes nobody else has to deal with that situation. She urges motorists to consider what they would want others to do if it were one of their loved ones on the side of the road and begs them to pay attention and give workers the room they need to do their jobs safely.
Our St. Louis personal injury law firm is experienced at helping those who have been injured in car accidents caused by the negligence of others in obtaining financial restitution. Please consider calling us, free of charge, at 1-888-586-7041 to schedule a free initial meeting. Whether your injuries were caused by another party’s failure to observe the “move over” laws or some other impetus, we stand ready to help you learn more about your rights under personal injury and wrongful death laws to obtain the economic recovery you need to pay for your medical and other related expenses.
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