A recent motor vehicle accident involving a motorist and a DOT maintenance vehicle marks the first 2023 traffic related fatality in Des Moines. The driver crashed into a DOT maintenance vehicle that was pulled off the shoulder of an I-235 exit and later succumbed to his injuries.
Accidents involving vehicles pulled over on the roadside are not uncommon. Unfortunately, passing cars often hit vehicles stopped on the shoulder, sometimes due to distracted driving or traveling too fast to react. Accidents involving pedestrians can also occur when occupants of stopped vehicles exit a car, putting them at risk of being struck by passing motorists.
Many times passing vehicles are at fault when there are accidents involving vehicles pulled over on the shoulder. However, there are cases where vehicles stopped on the shoulder are at fault, sometimes as a result of not having pulled over far enough or failing to turn on hazard lights to alert passing drivers to the potential hazard.
Best Way to Avoid Shoulder Car Accidents
If approaching emergency response areas where emergency vehicles are stopped along the shoulder of a roadway, safely merging in a lane farther away from a response area or, at the very least, slowing down when passing the response area can prevent accidents and is often required by law.
If no emergency vehicles are present, a driver approaching an area where a motorist has pulled over on the shoulder is obligated to take reasonable steps to prevent a crash, which include slowing down or changing lanes to avoid a potential collision. Distraction free driving is key to navigate unexpected driving conditions including stopped vehicles.
How to Stay Safe If a Driver Must Pull Over
If a motorist must pull off the roadway for any number of reasons such as car trouble or a medical emergency, they are expected to pull onto the shoulder as far off the road as possible. Turning on hazard lights, particularly at night, provides a warning to passing motorists. Unless absolutely necessary, occupants of a car pulled over into the shoulder should stay inside the vehicle to avoid being hit by a passing car. It is important to summon an emergency response vehicle for help.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer for Help
When you or a family member is injured in a car accident involving a vehicle pulled over on a shoulder or other unexpected hazards, it is important to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to seek compensation. Damages may include compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. For caring, personal service, call Iowa car accident attorney Marc Humphrey at 515-331-3510 or contact him online for your free consultation.