Like all 49 other states, Tennessee has a “move over” law that requires drivers to change lanes or slow down (if changing lanes is impossible or dangerous) when approaching stopped vehicles with their emergency lights flashing.
Initially, this only included emergency vehicles, such as police cruisers, ambulances, and firetrucks. Later, it was expanded to include utility vehicles before being broadened a third time to include ALL vehicles with their flashers on.
Knowledge and observance of this law wasn’t immediate, and some drivers still don’t move over when they’re supposed to. However, enforcement and citations are increasing, which means police officers and state troopers are on the lookout for drivers who don’t change lanes or slow down. That’s good news if you ever need to pull over for any reason.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind in this potentially dangerous scenario:
- Turn on your flashers—To benefit from the move over law, immediately turn on your flashers as you begin to pull over onto the shoulder or side of the road.
- Never change a tire near traffic—Even if it seems like a quick fix, changing a tire near traffic is extremely dangerous. A driver who drifts even a couple of feet out of their lane can hit you.
- Call for help—If you ran out of gas, call your local police department’s non-emergency line. They may dispatch an officer to your location with enough gas to get you to a gas station. If your vehicle broke down, call a tow truck or the TDOT Help line (*847) from your cellphone.
When drivers fail to move over and hit stranded or stopped motorists, they can and should be held liable for any damages and injuries. If that ever happens to you, know that Ponce Law’s Nashville auto accident lawyers are here to help. Contact us anytime for a free consultation.