It may seem like a one-in-a-million type of accident, but the truth is that these kinds of crashes happen all the time. A state trooper pulls over a speeding driver on I-635—he gets out of his car to collect the driver’s license and registration, and is struck by a speeding vehicle who failed to move around the stopped cars.
Over 27 Missouri State Highway Patrol Troopers have been killed in the line of duty to date, and many more have been injured by being struck by a vehicle whose driver was either distracted or impaired. Driver inattention is still the number one contributing factor in Missouri traffic collisions--and is the prime reason motorcycle riders crash into stopped patrol cars, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles.
What Actions Should Motorcycle Riders Take Around Patrol Cars and Emergency Vehicles in Missouri?
According to Missouri law, all motorists who are approached by an emergency vehicle are required to:
- Yield the right-of-way
- Immediately move to a position as far as possible to the right on the road and come to a stop
- Remain in a stopped position until the emergency vehicle has passed
In addition, all motorists should take the following actions when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle:
- Proceed with caution.
- Reduce the speed of your vehicle.
- Check traffic conditions, then make a lane change into a lane that is not immediately next to that of the stopped vehicle (e.g. if the roadway has two lanes of traffic in the same direction, move to the far left lane).
- If changing lanes is impossible or unsafe, reduce your speed and proceed with due caution, while maintaining a safe speed for road conditions.
If you fail to take any of the above actions, you may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, if you are found liable for an accident that caused serious injury or death, you may face additional charges. You can prevent many of these accidents before they happen by simply slowing down and moving over and by staying alert on your bike at all times.
Want to know more about motorcycle accident liability? Download a free copy of James Roswold’s book, The Devil’s Advocate: A Biker’s Guide to Accidents and Injuries, by clicking the link on this page.