Tragically, the news is full of too many stories of fatal accidents that occur when a vehicle has broken down and the driver pulls off on the side of the road, only to be hit by another vehicle driving by. Roadside breakdowns are particularly dangerous when they happen at night, on highways, or congested roads. Ideally, when a vehicle breaks down, the driver should pull over to a safe area, but that is not always possible.
Drivers should remember the following tips that can help prevent a tragedy should a breakdown occur:
- As soon as you realize there is a problem with your vehicle, slowly remove your foot off the gas pedal. Do not brake hard or quickly. Carefully drive your vehicle to the breakdown lane. If there is no breakdown lane, then pull over as far as you can on the side of the road.
- When you have pulled over to the side of the road, make sure other drivers can see your vehicle by turning on your vehicle’s hazard flashers. If it is night, turn on your interior lights, as well.
- If you have a flat tire and need to change yourself, only proceed if you can change it away from the traffic. If you cannot, then call for help. Do not try to change a tire in this situation no matter what the circumstances are.
- If you the issue with the vehicle is more extensive and you need help, do not get out of the vehicle to wave other motorists down. Call for help instead. If you do not have a phone with you, open the hood of your vehicle to indicate your vehicle is in distress. Remember that anytime you exit your vehicle, you should also do this on the side away from the traffic.
- If the vehicle has broken down on a dangerous stretch of road, get out of the vehicle and stand as far away from it as possible. Too many times, tragedy occurs when a broken-down car is slammed into and the driver and/or passengers were sitting inside the vehicle waiting for help. If the vehicle is in a safe area, then stay in the vehicle and wait for help.
- If you have broken down on a highway, it is never a good idea to get out of the vehicle and walk. Unless you feel you can walk to help or a highway call box safely, you should stay in the vehicle. If you do decide to walk for help, make sure to stay as far to the right as possible and never attempt to cross a highway.
Contact a Carolinas Injury Attorney
Tragically, many crash victims do not survive the injuries they suffer in vehicle accidents. Many victims are not able to fully recover from their injuries or develop serious complications from the injury which kills them. If you have lost a family member in a car accident, contact a compassionate North Carolina wrongful death attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have against the party who caused your loved one’s death.
Our personal injury firm has successfully represented many victims and their families and we are available to meet and discuss the circumstances of your case and how we may be able to help. We also offer a free wrongful death guide for families who have lost a loved one in an accident. The guide covers topics such as the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim, what types of damages can be pursued, and who can be appointed as personal representative.