‘Steer Clear’ Law Largely Ignored by Pennsylvania Motorists

 In Motor Vehicle Accident

We’ve all been there before: You’re driving down the highway when you see a car pulled over on the side of the road with a state trooper (lights blaring) parked right behind it. So then what do you do? Do you pull into the other lane? Do you slow down? Or do you just get past it as quickly as you can?

These questions are all addressed by what is known as Pennsylvania’s Steer Clear law, a statute that state troopers say is being largely ignored by too many motorists in the Keystone State – with disastrous results.

What is Pennsylvania’s Steer Clear law? In short, it is the state law that requires motorists to move over one lane when they come upon an incident that involves an emergency vehicle.

According to a recent Pittsburgh Tribune-Review news story, more must be done to make sure that Pennsylvania motorists understand what the Steer Clear law is, and how to obey it and other road safety rules.

Why is it so important? Check out these statistics from the Tribune-Review news article:

  • According to the state Department of Transportation, as many as 766 crashes involving parked emergency vehicles in 2014
  • There were 82 last year
  • There were an average of 90 crashes each year between 2000 and 2006 (the year Pennsylvanian’s Steer Clear law went into effect)

The personal injury attorneys at Pribanic & Pribanic want to do their part to raise awareness, so here’s what you need to know what the Steer Clear law:

What is considered an emergency responder under Pennsylvania’s Steer Clear law?

  • Emergency responders can include:
  • Police
  • Tow-truck drivers
  • PennDOT vehicles
  • Ambulances
  • Fire trucks

What if I encounter an incident involving emergency responders as I am driving by?

Under the Pennsylvania Steer Clear law, motorists are required to move one lane away when they encounter these types of incidents.

What if I am not able to move one lane over?’

It’s understandable: Sometimes you just can’t get over because of traffic conditions. If you are not able to, remember that you must at least slow down.

What happens if I don’t obey the Steer Clear law?

Failure to obey the Steer Clear law could lead to a fine of up to $250, but drivers cited for traffic violations in these situations will face double the fines. And if the violation results with a worker being injured? You can count on a 90-day suspension of your driver’s license.

What if I’m involved in a crash?

If you are involved in a motor vehicle crash, you are required to:

  • Move your vehicles to the side of the road
  • Exchange insurance information with any other involved drivers
  • Make detailed notes regarding any damages sustained by your vehicle
  • Call 911 to summon police, if necessary

What if my car dies, or for some other reason, I get stuck on the side of the road myself?

If that happens, here’s what you have to do:

  • Call 911 and/or road-side assistance, if necessary
  • Turn on your four-way flashers
  • Know your location
  • Have your insurance and emergency information available

The personal injury attorneys at Pribanic & Pribanic just want to remind everyone: Unaware drivers cause accidents. Know the law, in particular the Pennsylvania Steer Clear law, and pay attention to what’s going on around you on the road.

And remember: If you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury in a motor vehicle crash because of an unaware driver, call the Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys at Pribanic & Pribanic today to schedule a free initial legal review at 412-672-5444 or toll free at 800-392-4529.

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