Sometimes it is inevitable that a driver must pull over to the side of a road, whether due to an emergency, inclement weather, the receipt of an important phone call, or some other important reason. However, this can be an extremely dangerous undertaking, especially in high density and heavily-trafficked areas of the State. Specifically, while pulled over, cars and trucks can whiz by at extremely high speeds and fail to see you, resulting in a potential deadly situation for you and all other parties involved.
According to recent studies, it is by far better to stop and take a break at a rest stop or some other place with a parking lot rather than pulling over onto a shoulder lane. Specifically, studies reveal that in light of the increased incidence of distracted driving (i.e. cell phone calls & texting), the numbers of collisions that occur in shoulder lanes have skyrocketed – leaving you and your family vulnerable to injury. Since you cannot always avoid having to pull over, you should keep the following safety tips in mind:
1. Unless it is an emergency, do not pull over until you can get to a rest stop or other secure place. These are perfect places in which you can refuel, rest and address your needs. Oftentimes, it is better to stop at a rest stop than to risk your life pulling over into the shoulder lane of a highway.
2. Make sure to veer over in the shoulder lane as far as you possibly can. Meaning, park your car as far away from the road as possible to avoid getting struck by oncoming traffic – even if this requires you to park on grass, mud or dirt.
3. Only pull over in a safe area. If you notice that a highway does not have a shoulder lane or, the shoulder lane is extremely narrow, do not take unnecessary risks by stopping there. Wait until you can get to a safer location before pulling over and stopping your vehicle.
4. Call for help. Do not hesitate to contact police should you require assistance. In other words, if you are stuck on the side of the road and it is too dangerous to exit your car, call for help immediately. Florida police are equipped with many forms of attention-getting equipment, such as warning cones and road flares.
5. Be visible. If you have no choice but to pull over, be sure to put your hazard lights on to make sure you are visible to other drivers. Raising your trunk lid is also a good idea as it warns approaching drivers that you are stopped.
6. Be prepared. There is no harm in preparing for the unexpected. As such, you can easily purchase devices to make sure you can be noticed by other drivers, including road flares and cones. These are crucial ways in which you can make sure to avoid being struck by drivers while in the shoulder lane – especially at night. ( Many vehicles today come equipped with these items, check your owner’s manual to see if your car has them).
7. Use your hazard lights – Hazard lights are meant to be used for these types of situations. As such, be sure to turn them on immediately when stopped so that you are as visible as possible to other drivers.
8. Stay in your vehicle – Unless absolutely necessary, do not exit your car. If you have no choice but to leave your vehicle (due to an emergency), exit through the passenger side in order to avoid getting hit And stay in a safe area, far from traffic. DO NOT STAND IN FRONT OF YOUR VEHICLE, for if it is struck, it may move forward and severally injure you or your occupants.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident Florida, please contact us at 1-888-499-9700 or 305-595-2400 for a FREE Consultation. Our attorneys are available 24/7 through e-mail or answering service. Let the seasoned Miami Personal Injury Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano help you fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve.