The Shoulder of the Road: Know the Dangers
In many areas, parking on the shoulder of a highway is prohibited unless an emergency occurs like a flat tire or engine trouble. Parked cars on the highway substantially contribute to accidents and, sadly, many are preventable. When driving on the highway, your Florida car accident lawyer stresses that it’s important to understand the dangers that are associated with pulling onto or parking on the shoulder of the road. Knowing the dangers as well as some safety measures can save your life.
Dangerous Place to Park
Each year, more than 600 people are killed in the roadway or on the shoulder of the highway. Although parking on the side of the road is dangerous at any time of day, it’s particularly unsafe to park there at night. Drivers may be fatigued and have difficulty assessing that a car on the roadside is actually parked. They may not see a person near the car changing its tire or checking under its hood. At night, a car without lights is a serious hazard that can–and has–led to shoulder-of-the-road collisions. On highways where the speed limit is increased, traveling cars may find it difficult to stop quickly enough for cars that suddenly stop to pull onto the shoulder.
The best precaution to take when driving on the highway is to avoid pulling onto the shoulder of the road. If you think you have a flat tire, it’s ideal to drive to the nearest exit if possible. Certainly, it’s best for your vehicle to stop your car as soon as you can, but there are great risks to pulling onto the roadside to change a flat tire. According to your car accident lawyer, the worst you’re likely to do to your vehicle is damage the wheel, a repair that may run anywhere from $50 to $300 depending on the type of car you drive. That’s a small amount in comparison to the risk of collision.
If you are traveling and find yourself lost, drive to the nearest exit to read your map or check your directions. Again, parking on the roadside is only for absolute emergencies like breakdowns or if you are physically incapable of operating your vehicle any further.
Roadside Safety Measures
If you have no choice but to pull off to the side of road, be sure to pull onto the right shoulder and ensure that your vehicle is completely out of driving lanes. Pull as far off to the right as possible. If there is a guard rail, you should consider exiting your vehicle to stand on the other side of it and use your cellphone to call for roadside assistance. Definitely, use your hazard lights to alert other drivers. If you have flares, it would be advisable to set them as well.
Contact Shiner Law Group
There are many accidents throughout the year that may be deemed preventable. You can help prevent accidents and their associated injuries or fatalities by reducing your own risks for collision. One way is to stay off the shoulder of the road if at all possible. Keep these tips in mind when driving the highway. If you happen to be involved in a car accident no matter who’s at fault, contact your car accident lawyers at 561-777-7700.