One of the most frustrating and dangerous things while traveling is being stuck on the side of the road. I have unfortunately handled several cases where my clients have been severely injured and even killed by being struck when they were off the travelled road in a broken down car or stopped taking a brief snooze. When there is an emergency, the proper thing to do is pull your vehicle off to the side of the road also known as the shoulder, and if it is warm enough get out of your vehicle and stand far away from the roadway, while you await assistance.
Though you are out of immediate traffic when you pull your vehicle over, this does not mean that you are safe from harm! According to AAA, over 600 pedestrians are killed while on highways in America annually. Even more staggering is that over 18% of these pedestrians involved in some form of an auto accident were stranded on the side of a road with or in a disabled vehicle. Often because they stay in their vehicle or right next to it and another vehicle comes along and strikes the vehicle and them. Therefore, it is highly crucial for you to be vigilant watching for approaching traffic and try to get out of your vehicle and safely away from the highway.
A major factor in accidents being caused on the shoulders of highways is inattentive, drowsy, or impaired driving. Almost 17% of the accidents accounted for were caused by truck drivers.
Below are a few safety tips to take should you ever find yourself stuck on a highway with a disabled vehicle. The number one priority is always safety:
– Never pull over on a shoulder of a highway unless it is truly an emergency
– It’s safer to be on the right shoulder of the highway as opposed to the left. Try to pull onto the dirt portion next to the shoulder as it is even further from the highway.
– Stay calm, use your hazard lights, and move the vehicle to the side of the road as far as you can get it from the highway/vehicle itself. If possible get out of the car and walk further away from the roadway and call 911.
– Call 911 and for roadside assistance, such as Triple AAA.
– If possible it’s always better to move, even if it is slowly to a safer spot such as a parking lot off of the roadway if you believe where you are stopped will jeopardize your life. If on a City roadway and you are concerned for your safety, and want to make sure the police officer sees the final resting place of your vehicle for helping write up their report, then lock your car, put a note on the front windshield informing the officer that you are waiting in the nearest store for safety reasons.
– Don’t attempt to change a tire in an unsafe location or if you are too close to the highway. You being only a few feet or even inches from vehicles going upwards of 75mph is NEVER SAFE! Put on your hazards, call 911 and roadside assistance, and then if possible get out of the vehicle and away from the roadway.
These tips from an Waterbury Auto Accident Lawyer, should help you be more prepared in case you are indeed stuck on the side of the road on a highway. Always be alert, always be safe, and try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
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