Three tips to avoid being in a highway shoulder accident
Sadly, each year more than 600 people are killed as a result of crashes which occur on the shoulder or side of the roadway on interstate highways and local streets. So what can you do to avoid being in one of these potentially deadly motor vehicle accidents?
Interstate highway shoulder accidentsHow big of a problem is a highway shoulder accident or accident occurring on the side of the roadway? One might not ordinarily think that an accident on the shoulder of a highway is a serious problem however it has been reported that approximately 10% of all interstate highway death cases occur on the shoulder or other untraveled portion of the road. Additionally, one in five accidents has been reported to occur off the traveled portion of a local roadway.
What are some of the causes of highway shoulder accidents or those occurring off of the roadway?Sometimes a motor vehicle will break down and the driver will pull off of the highway onto the shoulder and will not alert the general public as to this potential problem by either turning on the hazard lights or by utilizing some other type of warning device to alert people on the roadway or highway that this vehicle presents a potential crash hazard. As a result of this conduct, an unsuspecting motor vehicle operator, who does not see this hazard, could end up hitting this stationary vehicle.
In other situations, the disabled motor vehicle operator, after pulling the car off the traveled portion of the highway or roadway, turns on their hazard lights and otherwise attempts to warn the general public about the fact that this vehicle is on the side of the roadway and should be avoided by all passing motorists. Unfortunately, in certain cases, a negligent driver does not see the vehicle in time and crashes into it.
Sometimes a motor vehicle operator will pull off onto the side of the roadway, or shoulder of the highway, and may encounter some defect or foreign object that causes them to either hit the retaining wall, or cement barrier, or otherwise cause them to return to the traveled portion of the roadway thereby causing an accident.
There are other instances where construction zones are present, workers are on the side of the roadway, police officers are there to reduce the risk of accidents, emergency medical personnel, firemen or ambulance drivers might also be attending to accident victims or pedestrians might be walking or bicyclists might be riding on the shoulder of the roadway, Thereby creating the potential for accident by a negligent driver.
So what are three tips to avoid being in a highway shoulder or side of roadway accident?1. If you determine that you are experiencing some type of problem with your motor vehicle and you are on the highway you should attempt to exit the highway, if at all possible. The only time that you should pull off to the side of the highway is if you are experiencing some type of emergency.
2. If you are experiencing some type of emergency, and must pull over to the side of the highway, make sure you do so on the right side of the highway and never on the left side of the highway, and only when it is safe to do so. You should make sure your vehicle is pulled off the highway as much as possible and make sure that no portion of your vehicle sticks out into the traveled portion of the roadway. Make sure you immediately turn on your hazard lights and safely utilize any other type of warning devices which you might have available to you in your vehicle. Do not stay inside your vehicle and only exit your vehicle when it is safe to do so and do not open your doors into the lane of oncoming traffic. You should also call for emergency help as soon as possible.
3. You should always be hyper vigilant when driving on the highway. It is very important that you stay alert and are aware of your surroundings so you can properly react to any hazardous situation that might arise. This would include construction zones where construction workers and police officers are often found as well as other accidents that might involve emergency medical responders, fire trucks and others. If you see a vehicle or person or a bicyclist on the side of the roadway then you should make sure that you allow that vehicle or individual as much room as possible by moving as far away from them as you can while utilizing safe driving techniques and only when it is safe to do so.