Tragic DeKalb Collision Involving Officer Shows Importance of Moving Over and Slowing Down


August 02, 2011

A collision in which a driver plowed into a police officer this past weekend provides a reminder of the danger faced by law enforcement officers when assisting motorists or enforcing traffic laws. Many times police officers must leave the safety of their vehicle on a busy interstate for a variety of tasks including assisting at the scene of an accident, aiding stranded motorists and enforcing traffic safety by issuing citations.

When vehicles are stopped on the side of the road, there is always a risk of pedestrians in the roadway or on the shoulder, so it is essential to slow down and be ultra-cautious to avoid a high-speed car-pedestrian accident that can result in catastrophic injuries including closed head injuries, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, broken ribs, fractured extremities, internal organ injuries and other severe personal injuries.

The DeKalb County pedestrian accident involving the officer was caused when a motorist plowed into the officer who had stopped on I-20 to assist motorists involved in a car crash. The officer was taken to the Grady Memorial Hospital and was in critical but stable condition according to reports in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The officer suffered a fractured skull, broken arm and broken collarbone.

This accident shows the high level of risk of pedestrian accidents when vehicles are stopped in the roadway or on the shoulder. While a police officer may have no choice but to exit his vehicle, stopped motorists are generally advised to remain in the safety of their vehicle with their vehicle as far as is safe over on the shoulder of the road so that your vehicle is out of the flow of traffic. You should also use your hazard lights to warn approaching motorists that your vehicle is disabled.

If you are a motorist approaching a disabled vehicle or an emergency vehicle driven by emergency services personnel that are assisting injured or stranded motorists, you should move over to avoid inadvertently colliding with stranded vehicles or running down a pedestrian. Georgia has a Move Over Law that requires that motorists move over for police, paramedics and other emergency vehicles parked on the side of the interstate. The law protects emergency personnel, police, DOT workers and motorists stopped by law enforcement for suspected traffic violations.

Many times pedestrians or other motorists may be present on the shoulder of the road or even in the roadway that are not protected by Georgia’s Move Over Law, which does not cover an ordinary citizen who may be experiencing car trouble or a traffic collision. However, a stranded vehicle or pedestrian in the roadway always requires extreme caution by other motorists to avoid a serious Atlanta car crash or Georgia collision that can result in catastrophic injuries or even wrongful death. Again, you should move over if safe to do so and slow down while exercising extreme caution.

If your or a loved one suffers serious injury or you lose a loved one in a tragic Georgia car crash, the experienced Atlanta car crash attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, have been representing clients throughout Georgia for over 27 years who are injured by negligent drivers. Our Atlanta car crash attorneys carefully investigate our clients’ Georgia car crashes for evidence of negligence including intoxicated drivers, distracted drivers, aggressive drivers and other evidence of fault by the other driver.

Our Georgia car crash attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins 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.

Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.