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Lake County personal injury attorneysIn order to reach the emergency as soon as possible, police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles may run red lights and drive in ways typically not permitted by law. Loud sirens and flashing lights alert the surrounding motorists to move over and make way for the emergency vehicle. While most motorists see the warning signs and safely move out of the way of  approaching emergency vehicles, others are not able to avoid the emergency vehicle and a collision occurs. A motorist may also hit something else while attempting to avoid an emergency vehicle.

Illinois Laws Regarding First Response Vehicles

Moving out of the way of first response vehicles is not only common sense, it is also mandated by law. Drivers are required to yield to any authorized emergency vehicle that is signaling an emergency. The driver is expected to pull over to the right side of the road and remain stopped until the emergency vehicle passes or the police directs the motorists to proceed.

Another law mandating motorists’ behavior with regard to first response vehicles is the “Move Over” law. The Move Over Law requires motorists to reduce speed, change lanes, and proceed with due caution when they approach an emergency vehicle stopped along the road. The law is also called “Scott’s Law” in memory of the death of Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department. Lieutenant Gillen was struck and killed by a drunk driver while providing aid at an accident site.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,According to a study conducted by the Federal Highway Safety Administration (FHSA), more than two-thirds of drivers fail to stop and yield the right of way to another driver at stop signs at intersections. This study was conducted using 40,000 drivers, which demonstrates that drivers who may have the right of way need to be vigilant of approaching vehicles not obeying right of way rules of the road.

One of the most important safety tips a driver can do to avoid a vehicle crash is to heed to all traffic signs. Stop signs and yield signs should be followed. These signs are specifically instructing drivers they do not have the right of way. Sometimes, however, right of way laws can be confusing, but there are certain constants that often apply and can help you avoid getting into a crash. These include:

  • Four-way stop sign intersections: The driver who arrived at the intersection has the right of way. If two or more drivers arrive at the intersection at the same time, then the driver on the right proceeds first.
  • Two road intersections with no signal light or stop signs: The driver who is on the smaller road must yield the right of way to drivers who are on the larger, or multiple lanes, road.
  • T-intersections: A t-intersection is one where a road is coming to a dead end and the driver needs to turn either left or right. If there are no traffic lights, then the driver coming to the end of the road must yield right of way to traffic on the road he or she is turning into.
  • Driving out of a parking space: Whether you are pulling out of a space on the side of the road or from a driveway, you are always required to yield the right of way to drivers already on the road.
  • Roundabouts: When approaching a circular intersection, vehicles already in the roundabout have the right of way. If two or more drivers come upon the intersection at the same time, the driver on the right has the right of way to enter.

There are exceptions to the right of way laws. No matter what situation you are in where you may have the right-of-way, you are required to yield that right of way to emergency vehicles, funeral processions, and school buses which are stopping. It is also important to remember to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are in crosswalks.

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