Emergency vehicles may need to park on the shoulder of the highway for a number of reasons. Commonly, these vehicles are responding to New Mexico auto accidents or are taking care of official government business. However, the presence of these vehicles in such close proximity to fast-moving traffic certainly presents safety issues.
Civilian motorists as well as the government employees who operate emergency vehicles are responsible to take the necessary actions so that traffic is not impeded and motorist safety is not jeopardized. Indeed, in 2005, New Mexico lawmakers passed a “move over” law, requiring motorists to change lanes and slow down as they pass emergency vehicles.
At the same time, drivers of emergency vehicles have a duty to make sure that they take adequate precautions. For example, emergency vehicle drivers should ensure they are pulled over as far off the highway as possible and illuminate any emergency lights on their vehicle to notify passing traffic of their presence.
Driver Dies after Slamming into Fire Truck
Earlier this month, a motorist was killed after crashing into a fire truck that was responding to an unrelated accident. According to a local news report, the fire truck was among several emergency vehicles responding to the scene of a hit-and-run accident. The motorist involved in the initial hit-and-run accident was in the process of being treated at the scene when, at around 2:30 a.m., a Hyundai Sonata crashed into the fire truck, which was blocking traffic near the accident.
Upon colliding with the fire truck, the Hyundai’s fuel tank burst; however, emergency crews were able to clear the scene before further damage occurred. Sadly, however, the Hyundai’s driver died as a result of the collision. A captain with the fire department told reporters that it is common practice for fire trucks to park in the road to block traffic after a serious accident. This practice, he explained, has saved the lives of many firemen. A police investigation is still underway.
Determining Fault in Accidents Involving Stationary Emergency Vehicles
Determining who is responsible for causing a New Mexico car accident involving a road-side emergency vehicle is not always straightforward, due to the duties imposed on both parties. Anyone who has been involved in such an accident should seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss their case.
Have You Been Involved in a New Mexico Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a New Mexico truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and the extent of your injuries, you may receive as compensation your past and future medical expenses related to the accident, lost wages, and any pain and suffering you endured. Call the Fine Law Firm at 505-889-FINE to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a dedicated New Mexico personal injury attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Recent Case Finds Truck Owner Vicariously Liable for Driver’s Negligence but Subject to Statutory Liability Maximum, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 5, 2017.
Questions Emerge About the Safety of Self-Driving Cars and the Liability of Manufacturers and Drivers, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 28, 2017.