When there are motor vehicle accidents or other incidents on the Georgia roadways, first responders are a welcome sight as they are there quickly and help those who have been in an accident. Even if there were no injuries in the crash, the first responders can help with clearing the road and assisting those who were involved. What is becoming problematic, however, is the number of people who are distracted behind the wheel and are putting the emergency responders in jeopardy.
Information from the National Safety Council shows just how risky it is for these workers across the nation.
In its research, the NSC found that 71% of drivers admitted to using their cellphones to send text messages or to take photographs as they passed an accident scene where emergency service crews are working. 60% stated they subsequently posted what they saw on social media. More troublingly, 16% of drivers who took part in the survey said they crashed into or almost crashed into the emergency responders. In 2018, there were 40 deaths of first responders when they were involved in motor vehicle accidents with drivers who were passing by.
Although Georgia has a law requiring vehicles to move over, many drivers ignore it. In the state, the Georgia Department of Transportation has Highway Emergency Responder Operators (GDOT HEROs). Those who work in this field in the state say that workers have suffered minor and major injuries in these accidents. The anecdotal information from HERO indicates that the NSC research is accurate. They see many drivers who are passing by the scene with their phone in their hand as they try to find a good angle to take a photo. Distracted driving near an emergency scene has become so prevalent that some first responders station workers whose job it is to stand watch for their colleagues.
Emergency responders’ job is to help others after an accident, but this information shows how common it is that they are the victims of distracted drivers who are passing the scene and cause motor vehicle accidents with injuries and fatalities. After this type of accident, it is imperative to know what to do to recover compensation for medical costs, lost time on the job and more. Legal advice is a must and a law firm that is experienced in motor vehicle accidents can help.