If you witnessed an accident on the highway, what would you do?
If you’re like many of us, you’d stop your car and offer assistance.
And while that’s the right thing to do in most cases, it’s critical to understand the dangers of doing so and to take all necessary precautions to avoid injury.
So, what are the dangers?
Any time your car is stopped on the highway, even if you are on the shoulder, there is the risk that you, or your vehicle, could be struck by one traveling on the same road.
Given that fact – now imagine the danger of standing or walking outside of your car.
Did you know that approximately 12% of all interstate highway deaths involve pedestrians in the roadway or on the shoulder? It’s critical to remember, if you must stop on the shoulder for an emergency, don’t count on other drivers to be careful.
So what steps should you take?
First, if you’re driving and see a disabled vehicle on the side of the road, slow way down, turn your emergency flashers on, and carefully watch for pedestrians and emergency personnel on or near the roadway.
If the accident has just occurred, no emergency personnel are yet present, and you feel your help is needed, pull to the right-hand shoulder of the road, turn on your emergency flashers and leave your car – exiting carefully from the passenger side (away from traffic). Once out of the car, get safely away from the highway and call 911 for emergency assistance.
If possible, wait in a safe location for emergency personnel to arrive. If you feel it absolutely necessary to approach the vehicles or people involved in a collision, do so using extreme care. At dusk or at night, use a flashlight to draw attention to yourself so that other drivers can see you. And avoid all unnecessary risks, such as standing in an active traffic lane.
If you find that you cannot provide meaningful assistance to the occupants of the vehicle or any pedestrians, move off the highway to a safe location and wait for emergency responders.
And finally – do not try to direct traffic. That job is both difficult and extremely dangerous.
If you or a loved one are ever injured in a car accident in Connecticut, know that the Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting people like you who’ve been injured in accidents for over 60 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever injured in an accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut personal injury lawyers, please contact us. There is no obligation.