Some of the most common and dangerous car accidents are the ones that involve a car parked on the shoulder of the road.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has revealed that shoulder road accidents represent approximately four out of ten fatal accidents in the U.S. In most cases, such accidents are caused by vehicles that are stopped on the roadside due to mechanical problems. In many of these accidents, the victims are pedestrians or bicyclists, who get hit by a driver who is distracted by the car stopped on the shoulder of the road.
A Dangerous Situation
Cars stopped on the shoulder can lead to serious car accidents, as they tend to distract the drivers of oncoming vehicles. The risk of an accident is increased even more if the vehicle is coming at a high speed or has its view blocked by a larger vehicle or a truck. Unfortunately, in such car accidents, the person standing next to the car often suffers serious injuries or gets killed.
Shoulder road accidents occur more commonly during night hours when drivers on the road are fatigued and have limited vision. A driver may believe that the lights in front of them are of another traveling vehicle and by the time they realize the car is stopped, it is usually too late to react properly and avoid the accident.
Preventing Shoulder Road Accidents
In case of a flat tire, rather than stopping on the shoulder, drive to the nearest possible exit, even though it may cause more damage to the car. This way, you reduce the risk of causing an accident. If you have an emergency that requires you to stop on the roadway shoulder, stop the car off the road as far away as you possibly can. Ensure that all the passengers in your car are moved to a safe location away from the car and from the roadway.
What to Do If You Must Pull Over
If you stop your car because you got involved in an auto accident, pull over to the shoulder and get out of the way as much as possible. You may get seriously injured or even killed while exchanging information about the accident while standing on the road. Follow these instructions if you need to stop your car on the shoulder after an accident:
- Avoid pulling the vehicle on the left shoulder; instead, move the vehicle toward the right shoulder.
- Get out of the active lane of traffic.
- Get out of the vehicle and move to a safe location.
- Try to ensure the car is visible, so that other drivers on the road can clearly see it.
- Use flares, reflective material, and car flashing hazard lights to make your vehicle visible to other drivers.
Missouri Auto Accident Claims
If you get involved in a shoulder road car accident, contact a car accident lawyer from The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. as quickly as possible in order to get proper legal counsel for the injuries you have suffered. Call us at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.