Video via California Highway Patrol YouTube.
On average, 16 to 18 emergency workers and some 50 tow operators lose their lives each year working in or near moving traffic, according to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute.
While all 50 states have enacted “Move Over” laws, many drivers remain ignorant about how they should behave when they see flashing lights on the side of the road. In fact, the National Safety Council found that 24% of drivers don't realize there are legal requirements for this scenario, and 16% say they have either struck or nearly struck a first responder or emergency vehicle stopped on or near the road.
Now is a good time to remind your fleet drivers about best practices when they encounter emergency vehicles on the road. While specifics vary state to state, in general, drivers are expected to:
- Immediately slow down. Experts recommend driving 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
- Move over if you can safely do so.
- Switch to a lane that’s not immediately next to the emergency vehicle, if possible.
Move Over laws save lives. Make sure your drivers know the specifics of the Move Over law in their state. For a complete, list, visit AAA