Staying Safe if You Find Yourself on the Side of a Highway

By Brett Martin |

Published 02/27 2014 05:48AM

Updated 02/27 2014 07:46AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- During winter weather, many people may find themselves in need of help on the side of the road. 

Sergeant Jason Pace from the Missouri Highway Patrol says our divided highways and unique terrain make it even more important to follow the move over law.

"By law first, they are required to slow down then they are required to move to the opposite lane of where emergency vehicles are."

Sergeant Pace says the state law helps everyone including MODOT workers, construction crews, emergency vehicles and tow truck drivers.

"It gives us plenty of room to work and its safer for everybody involved," says Sergeant Pace.

Especially when theres just a matter of feet between you and vehicles traveling on our fastest highways.

"Anytime there is emergency workers or MODOT working on the shoulder, there’s only a few feet separating you from the roadway so giving the extra distance is obviously going to make it safer."

He says the new lights on vehicles help warn drivers further away. New LED lighting helps warn drivers a further distance away.

As drivers, making sure you change lanes properly and safely can prevent an even bigger mistake from happening.

"We work many accidents that are related just to that. An individual has failed to use a turn signal or failed to equip their vehicle properly with that proper lighting to indicate that they are turning or breaking," explains Sergeant Pace.

He says there are other laws to prevent accidents on our busiest roads. For instance, when a driver stays in the passing lane, or left lane, on I-44.

"With hills and things, when you have both lanes blocked, bogging down that traffic, it makes it slower and more dangerous for every body involved."

He says, in Missouri, the law requires drivers to move back to the right lane after they pass the vehicle.

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