Under Indiana Code Title 9 Motor Vehicles section 9-21-8-35, motorists should proceed cautiously and change lanes when they approach emergency vehicles that are displaying flashing lights or giving audible signals. Individuals who fail to abide by these rules may be subject to criminal or civil charges. Some common vehicles that Indiana drivers should watch for are:
- Police vehicles
- Fire trucks and rescue crews
- Highway maintenance and incident-response trucks
- Utility service vehicles
- Tow trucks
The statute provides that drivers approaching these vehicles should yield the right-of-way, immediately drive parallel to and as close to the right-hand curb of a roadway, and stop and remain there until the emergency vehicle has passed. Further, Indiana motorists approaching stationary emergency vehicles displaying flashing lights or audible signals, should yield the right-of-way by changing lanes not adjacent to the emergency vehicle, and proceed with caution by reducing their speed by at least ten miles per hour (mph).
The statute does relieve emergency vehicle drivers from operating their vehicles with due care. These accidents can have serious and deadly consequences, and motorists who violate this law may be subject to various fines and penalties, including license suspension.
Recently, a news report described a serious crash that injured an Indiana state trooper. The trooper was responding to a traffic accident and activated his emergency lights behind the crashed vehicle—two other police officers parked behind him to alert and block traffic. The troopers activated their lights and put over a dozen flares on the road to warn oncoming motorists. One of the officers noticed an SUV driver speeding towards them and tried to alert the trooper; however, the driver slammed into the officer’s car while he was sitting in the driver’s seat. The trooper’s vehicle slammed into the car that he was investigating and into a median. Another trooper jumped over the median wall to avoid the speeding SUV driver. The SUV driver refused to take sobriety tests at the scene; however, police obtained a search warrant to draw his blood. The driver was arrested for multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.
Many Indiana highway workers, emergency responders, and state troopers suffer injuries every year in these types of accidents. Motorists must abide by these laws and remain vigilant when operating their vehicles.
Have You Been Involved in an Indiana Car Accident?
You should contact Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse, LLP, if you or someone you know has suffered injuries or death in an Indiana car accident. The attorneys at our law firm have a long history of successfully representing Indiana injury victims in a variety of legal matters, such as personal injury lawsuits, medical malpractice claims, and wrongful death lawsuits. We not only meet our clients’ needs, but our Indiana injury attorneys consistently surpass expectations. We have recovered significant amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients. Compensation typically includes payments for medical bills, ongoing rehabilitative treatment, lost wages and benefits, funeral and burial expenses, and pain and suffering. Contact one of our experienced and dedicated Indianapolis injury attorneys at 888-532-7766 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your legal matter.