ADOT Issues Reminder on How to Handle a Fender Bender

Mindy Montoya | Historic Route 66

The Arizona Department of Transportation is reminding motorists in the state how best to handle minor traffic collisions to improve safety and traffic flow.

As the department noted in a news release last week, many drivers involved in collisions have been taught to leave their vehicles where they are until law enforcement arrives. But that's bad advice. In fact, a state law known as "Quick Clearance" mandates that a driver involved in a minor crash move the vehicle from travel lanes if it is operable and can be moved safely.

That can include moving the car to the emergency shoulder or median, or exiting a freeway. Doing so keeps traffic flowing and reduces the chance of injury for motorists and responding law enforcement officers. In fact, of the 29 Arizona Department of Public Safety officers killed in the line of duty, 11 died in secondary crashes on state highways, ADOT said.

"Every traffic incident management principle confirms drivers can greatly impact safety, reduce congestion and reduce secondary collisions," DPS Sgt. John Paul Cartier said. "Drivers who comply with Quick Clearance state law make a positive difference in many lives."

If you're involved in a crash, first make sure you and any vehicle occupants are OK. Then, move your car to the emergency shoulder or median, or off the highway, if the vehicle is operable. Then call 911. And remember that you should never leave the scene of a crash.

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