That's according to the
Sometimes, drivers don't do that. And that means it's up to first responders who arrive at a crash to make the call as to whether to move them.
"You have to see it and you have to decide,"
His job is to lead them through a federally mandated safety program focusing on how to safely work in and near traffic.
When he started teaching the class in 2012, the average time in the
Instances when vehicles would not be cleared from travel lanes include when an air bag is deployed, when someone is hurt or if a car is leaking fluid.
That's when blocking a crash so responders can work safely so close to buzzing traffic becomes important, a task that often includes blocking more than travel lanes.
"If you do not block that shoulder, what will they do?" Stanberry asked the class.
They responded in unison, without hesitation: "Drive on the shoulder."
It's typical for police, fire and transportation department vehicles to park behind a crash, while ambulances, tow trucks and other support units position themselves in front.
And blocking more lanes often is necessary -- a move that annoys drivers stuck in backed-up traffic, but that responders say is needed to keep them from being hit.
For example, Stanberry said, if an ambulance is parked in front of the firetruck, drivers will go around the firetruck then want to return to their original lane, thus putting the ambulance in danger of being struck.
"If you don't put the cones out, they'll go back in that lane," he said.
But the law requiring that vehicles be moved after a wreck raises the question of how to prove to your insurance company how an accident happened -- especially if you're not at fault and when the original accident scene is moved.
That can be especially difficult these days, when some police departments don't write accident reports for minor crashes.
That's the case in
It's up to the drivers whether they want to call the police at all after a fender bender.
So how can you make sure you're covered?
He also suggested taking as many photos as possible, including getting a picture of a crash before it's moved -- but only if you can do so without putting yourself or others in harm's way.
But photos afterward can be helpful too. So snap away.
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