This Is Why You Move Over For Cops

Estimated read time 2 min read

In many states there’s a move over law that requires drivers to vacate the nearest lane when a law enforcement or other emergency vehicle is parked on the shoulder. While some might think that’s silly, the reality is such laws save lives as clearly evidenced in footage of an Oklahoma State trooper almost getting killed by an out-of-control driver.

Truck driver ends a police chase quickly.

We’ve seen this happen over and over again: a cop pulls someone over on the highway for some sort of violation. While sitting on the shoulder with the lights going, another driver panics and veers straight toward that cruiser, either hitting it, the stopped civilian vehicle, or both.

In this case, the third vehicle impacts the civilian SUV which the trooper had pulled over. It happens in the blink of an eye, giving the trooper zero time to react. Fortunately, he’s standing on the passenger side of the SUV, otherwise he probably wouldn’t have walked away from this incident.

There’s an old saying among racecar drivers: your car goes where your eyes go. This is why racers and exceptionally safe drivers practice seeing everything while looking at nothing. Target fixation, where a driver stares at something intensely on the road, like a stopped police car with its lights going, causes the driver to steer in that direction and is incredibly dangerous. Sadly, this risk and how to guard against it isn’t taught in most driving schools or even by parents.

This is why the move over laws exist. It doesn’t help that too many drivers are fiddling with their touchscreen, looking at their phone, or otherwise not paying attention. When they suddenly see flashing emergency lights in their peripheral vision, they get startled and jerk on the steering wheel. This is why no matter how boring it might be, staying attentive while driving is necessary.

In this crash, which happened back on January 18 on Interstate 40, at least nobody was killed or seriously hurt. But both drivers did get a trip to the hospital.

Image via YouTube

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Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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