We’ve written articles detailing what you should do to driver safer and even what you need to know if you are in an accident. But there is one thing you should absolutely NEVER do if you are driving on a highway, and that is get out of your vehicle near traffic or stand or walk in a traffic lane.
Sometimes unforeseen things can happen–your car runs out of gas, has a flat tire or has a mechanical breakdown while you’re driving on the highway. It can be scary, frustrating and leave you panicked and unsure what to do. You may want to get out and get some air, see what’s wrong with your car or even change your tire. But as a recent Meadowbrook Parkway accident shows, this can be extremely dangerous. Two men had pulled over to the side of the Meadowbrook when their car broke down and were killed when a pickup truck plowed into them.
The National Safety Council recommends that at the first sign of car trouble, you should gently take your foot of the accelerator and work your vehicle toward the side of the road. If you can, you should try to exit the highway. If not, stop as far to the side as you can either on the shoulder or off the road completely. Do not stop in a traffic lane.
Once your vehicle is safely away from traffic, wait inside the vehicle with the doors locked and safety belts buckled. There is protection inside your vehicle – but none outside of it. Use your cell phone to call for help, such as a police officer, tow truck or roadside assistance.
If you absolutely need to get out of your vehicle, make sure you are not near a traffic lane. It is extremely dangerous to walk along a busy highway especially during bad weather conditions. You should never try to cross multiple lanes of a high-speed highway. However, if you can safely walk to a gas station or other location to get assistance you should exit your vehicle on the right-side away from traffic and walk on the right-side of the roadway. If possible, use guard-rails as protective barriers between you and traffic while you walk.
Too often, people have been seriously injured or killed because they got out of their cars on the highway. It is easy to underestimate the speeds of cars coming at you, but at 60 mph, a car that is 100 yards away will hit you in just 3 seconds.
If you or someone you love was hit by a car on the Meadowbrook, Southern State or any of Long Island’s other highways, give us a call to learn more about your case. Our experienced and compassionate lawyers provide a free consultation to fully discuss your case, answer all your questions and explain your legal options. We work with a team of expert investigators, medical experts and accident reenactment experts to help ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve.