Last weekend, a car crash on I-35 in Schertz affected the occupants of four vehicles and took the life of a 21-year-old woman. The devastating series of events began when a car collided with a disabled vehicle that was stopped on the road. The driver of the disabled vehicle, who was standing outside of the car at the time of impact, was thrown into traffic and hit by another passing car, while her vehicle was pushed into the path of a fourth car traveling on the highway.
Cases such as this not only involve complicated questions of liability, but also draw attention to the dangers a driver faces when his or her car breaks down on a busy highway like I-35. The affected drivers, as well as other drivers passing on the road, can all do their part to prevent the risk of accidents and severe or fatal injuries.
Preventing Accidents After a Vehicle Stops on the Highway
It is not uncommon for drivers to have problems with their vehicles while traveling on the highway. Flat tires, engine troubles, and fender benders can all lead to the unfortunate situation of having to stop your car on a busy road, exposing yourself to the risk of injury from a passing vehicle. If your car does break down on the interstate, here are some things you can do to reduce the risk:
- Pull over to the right shoulder, completely out of the traffic lanes. It may not always be possible, but whenever you can, you should move your car to a safe location that will not obstruct the flow of traffic.
- Use your hazard lights. Turn on your blinking lights to alert approaching drivers that your vehicle is stopped. This is especially important if your car breaks down at night when visibility is low. If you have additional flares or reflectors, those can help as well.
- Activate your emergency brake. This can help keep your car from rolling back into traffic, especially if you are not able to stop on level ground.
- Remain in your car and call for assistance. If you believe that staying in your vehicle is dangerous, perhaps because it is on fire, then you should try to get out as quickly and safely as possible. However, in other cases, you should stay in your vehicle for protection and call for law enforcement or a tow truck before you take further action.
Other drivers should also look out for vehicles stopped on the side of the highway and react accordingly. Texas has a “Move Over/Slow Down” law that requires drivers to reduce their speed and leave a lane of space between police and emergency vehicles that are stopped on the shoulder. While no such law exists for other stopped vehicles, it is still a good idea to react similarly when you notice any driver who has had to stop.
Contact a New Braunfels Car Crash Lawyer
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident involving a car stopped on the highway, The Bettersworth Law Firm can help you pursue compensation for your damages. Contact an experienced New Braunfels, TX personal injury attorney for a free consultation today at 830-606-0404.