Tow Truck Driver Thrown from Overpass Serves as a Reminder of Georgia Move-Over Law
Although many people know that Georgia like other states has a Move-Over Law that is designed to protect those providing and receiving roadside or emergency services, the continued injury to those offering assistance to motorists with disabled vehicles and at motor vehicle accident sites serves as evidence that the danger has not abated despite the law. At the Georgia motor vehicle accident injury law firm of Montlick and Associates, we are committed to making the streets and highways of Atlanta and the surrounding area safer so we urge all motorists to move over when they see an accident, disabled vehicle or traffic stop.
A recent fatal tow truck accident in another state provides a vivid example of the way these dangerous accidents occur. A tow truck driver was hurdled over a wall and fell 25 feet into a river below when the disabled vehicle he was “hooking up” was hit by an SUV. Although the tow truck operator suffered serious injuries that required hospitalization, he fell into a grassy marsh below which probably saved his life. Because there was a very similar incident that occurred in the identical location only a year and a half ago, it is probably worth investigating whether some form of warning or other safety precaution might be appropriate to prevent injury to motorists and those rendering assistance at this location.
Georgia’s Move-0ver Law was enacted in the wake of the increasing number of collisions resulting in fatalities and permanent injury involving DOT workers, law enforcement officers and emergency technicians. Because of the risk of having people out of their vehicle in close proximity to the flow of traffic at high rates of speed, people were suffering fatal injuries at roadway construction projects, routine traffic stops, crash response locations and the site of disabled vehicles.
The magnitude of the danger posed when drivers are inattentive because they are using a cell phone or otherwise not paying attention is evidenced by the attention grabbing nature of the fine, which is a hefty $500. The danger posed by drivers who fail to move to an adjacent lane when passing a vehicle rendering emergency assistance or conducting a traffic stop is as high as $1,000 in some states. The scope of the risk posed by careless drivers passing a police officer conducting a routine traffic stop is also evidenced by FBI data regarding fatal police officer collisions. In a recent year, the FBI reports that 49 officers died in a motor vehicle-related collision with 27 percent of those deaths occurring when the officer was hit by a passing vehicle while he was engaged in his duties outside his vehicle.
Above all, we want your family to be safe, and that is why we provide so much information on injury prevention. But if you are injured, we are here to help. Our Atlanta motor vehicle collision lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.
Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.