Even With Georgia Move Over Law, Stopping In Breakdown Lane Remains Hazardous
The Georgia legislature enacted a law which, if obeyed, should make the work of law enforcement officers, tow truck drivers, and the lives of people who need to pull over on Georgia’s interstates safer. The legislature deemed the law necessary because careless and reckless drivers got too close and crashed into vehicles stopped in the emergency lane. Regrettably, drivers needed a law to remind them to avoid vehicles in the breakdown lane.
Various reasons exist for people colliding with vehicles in Georgia emergency lanes. The lack of driving experience, operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or driving while distracted are just some of the reasons why emergency lane collisions occur. When a moving vehicle strikes a stationary vehicle in the breakdown lane, the results can be devastating. Thousands of people each year die or suffer catastrophic injuries when vehicles swerve into the breakdown lane and hit vehicles and even people. Despite laws designed to prevent those crashes from happening like Georgia’s Move Over Law, these devastating collisions continue to occur.
If you or a loved one suffered severe injuries in a breakdown lane collision or a family member died as a result of an emergency lanecrash in Georgia, you could be eligible to receive a substantial economic award. Regrettably, no amount of money can replace the lives lost or repair the damage caused by a reckless driver who plows into a car on the side of the road. However, the Georgia emergency lane accident lawyers from Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law learned through many years of experience that pursuing a claim for damages against people who committed wrongful acts can help with the healing process. Victims and their families feel a sense of relief knowing that justice was done when a court orders compensation must be paid to the victims and their families for their loss.
Speeding, drunken driving, distracted driving, and fatigued driving account for many of the causes of emergency lane wrecks. Operating in excess ofthe speed limit significantly reduces the reaction time of the driver. Compounded by intoxication or distracted driving, it is easy for a driver to lose control over the vehicle and cross over the white line, forever altering lives, or ending them.
Another phenomenon might account for breakdown lane collisions. The moth effect, or target fixation, is a problem encountered by many law enforcement officers and tow truck drivers working roadside. Target fixation occurs when an operator cannot perform any task because the driver’s attention is fixated on the something in the distance. Once the eyes acquire that target, the driver has a hard time averting his or her attention. Since the hands go where the eyes lead, drivers crash into the vehicles in the emergency lane because they cannot look elsewhere.
The theory of target fixation seems to occur most frequently at night. The bright LED lights of a law enforcement vehicle or tow truck penetrate the darkness and capture the attention of the driver. People who are under the influence or are very tired seem to lack the ability to refocus and pass by vehicles in the breakdown lane safely.
People in the breakdown lane are utterly vulnerable. They have no cover in the event an errant vehicle strays into the emergency lane. Their parked vehicles offer little protection from the devastating forces imparted by a vehicle driving on an interstate. Consequently, people are often killed in these collisions. If the victim is lucky enough to survive, they can be badly hurt and often suffer amputated limbs, spinal cord injuries, and catastrophic brain injuries.
http://www.visualexpert.com/Resources/motheffect.html, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs358/en/, http://www.automotive-fleet.com/channel/safety-accident-management/article/story/2013/07/what-to-do-and-not-to-do-after-a-highway-breakdown.aspx and https://www.gahighwaysafety.org/highway-safety/move-over-law/