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Tending To Disabled Vehicles Lead To Disaster


June 23, 2018 was the day a lone driver along I-95 in Florida experienced problems with her back tire. She could not have known that getting out of her vehicle to tend to the problem would cost her her life. When a passing driver—unimpaired by alcohol or drugs– was unable to see her, that vehicle hit her, killing her immediately. The tragedy haunts the driver of the passing vehicle and the woman’s family, alike.

Heartbreaking Incidents Involving Disabled Vehicles

Sadly, this story is not an isolated incident. Roughly four percent of injuries and eight percent of fatalities on the road occur due to vehicles that are parked or disabled on the roadside. Some recent episodes in Florida include the following:

  • A Florida man was killed while pushing his stalled vehicle onto the shoulder on US 301 in January 2018. Another motorist crashed into him from behind, tossing him and his car into another vehicle in the intersection;
  • When a man’s car stalled in Fort Lauderdale in July 2017, he exited the car to investigate the problem. Another vehicle slammed into him, and sped away. The man was dead shortly after the collision.

Handling Mechanical Failures on the Road

Many people spend a lot of time commuting to work, school and play. Experiencing a flat tire or mechanical problem while en route can be both stressful and dangerous. There are some safety tips that might be useful to keep in mind in the event you have a roadside emergency along a busy highway:

  • Put on your hazard lights to alert oncoming traffic of a problem;
  • If your car is in the left lane and cannot move, exit quickly, climb the guardrail, and call for emergency services to help;
  • If the vehicle is stuck in the right lane, hurry to the far shoulder in front of your vehicle so you can watch for traffic and signal them to slow down;
  • If you are on the shoulder of the road, stay in your vehicle and call for emergency services;
  • Should you attempt to change a flat tire? You will be safest if you remain in the vehicle and call police. If you in any way obstruct traffic, or if visibility is low, it is a tremendous risk to step out of your vehicle unless absolutely necessary.

If your vehicle experiences a problem on a rural road, and there is plenty of space to pull over, it may be okay to attempt to change a tire or check under the hood, provided your flashers are working and visibility is good. Additionally, setting out warning triangles, flares, or reflectors could be a lifesaver.

Safety First

In any roadside emergency, your safety should always be your first priority. If, through a confluence of events, you suffer serious injuries due to another driver’s carelessness, the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton has your back. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a confidential consultation today.