DES MOINES – The dog days of summer are upon us and with the last push of summer vacation travel, the Iowa departments of Public Safety and Transportation are reminding Iowans of the “Steer it, Clear it” law that took effect July 1, 2017.
Do you know what to do in the event of a fender bender where no one is injured? Iowa’s amended law (House File 313 to amend Iowa Code 321.262) requires the drivers of vehicles involved in a crash where there are no serious injuries to move the vehicles out of the driving lanes of traffic.
The change was made to improve the safety of those involved in the crash, as well as others on the roadway. There are approximately 55,000 crashes in Iowa every year. For every minute a lane is blocked, the risk of a secondary crash increases by roughly 2.8 percent. That means the likelihood of another crash happening in the area of the first crash is very high after about 30 minutes.
Pat Hoye, Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau Chief, said, “No one wants to be stuck in traffic. Seeing a crash ahead can cause anxiety and frustration by drivers caught by the delay. Clearing minor crashes off the road quickly keeps traffic moving and reduces the risk for all drivers.”