LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — This Crash Responder Safety Week, the Michigan Traffic Incident Management Action Team is working to educate people on how to drive more safely around emergency responders at the scene of a crash.
Nationally, one first responder is killed while on the job per week, which is why officials say awareness weeks are so important.
According to Michigan State Police, in the year 2020, a traffic crash was reported every 2 minutes and 9 seconds, adding up to 245,598 for the year. Of those, 2,253 involved emergency vehicles, including four fatal crashes and 355 injury crashes.
Officials say the numbers are alarming and hope drivers take them seriously.
Key findings in research were that drivers not being alert, were using their phones around traffic crashes and stopping to look over crashes while taking photos instead of focusing on the road.
Michigan State Police says drivers should remember Michigan’s “move-over law,” which requires drivers to slow down and get over when they see stationary authorized vehicles with flashing lights on.
“Michigan law requires slowing down at least 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit and moving over a lane if that’s possible. We know that’s not always possible, but if it’s possible, it also requires that consideration,” Grand Rapids Fire Department Deputy Chief Ron Tennant said.
Officials say while this week is also about first responders, they also want to remind drivers to keep their vehicle is in good working condition and pack roadside kits in case of an emergency on the road.