At the scene of a crash the other day one of Iowa Department of Transportation Officers explained a stunning statistic to me. “Every minute a lane is blocked the likelihood of a secondary crash increases 2.8%.”
This officer said 3%, either way, this statistic is staggering. That means that after 33 minutes of a lane being blocked it’s almost certain a secondary accident will occur.
If you talk to anyone who’s worked an accident on the highway or interstates they will all tell you the same thing. It’s dangerous! For law enforcement, emergency responders, tow truck operators, media, and other motorists. When coming upon an accident your best option is to detour around it. If not slowing down moving over and keeping your attention to the road will help keep everyone safe.
In order to help reduce the number of secondary crashes, Iowa passed the “Steer it Clear It” law which took effect on July 1, 2017. It requires drivers involved in non-serious injury accidents to remove vehicles out of the driving lanes of traffic.
Iowa also updated its move over law which requires motorists to move over if possible and to slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle with its lights flashing to include other vehicles with lights flashing such as utility and garbage trucks.
As of October 27th, 2017 there have been 282 fatalities on Iowa roadways, this number down 33 from 2016 at the same time.