Motorists need to be reminded that if your vehicle becomes disabled or you are involved in a Fort Lauderdale car accident, use extra caution if you need to cross the roadway to get help. Drivers in passing vehicles don’t always see someone crossing the highway because they are distracted by the accident scene, something in their vehicle or aren’t expecting pedestrians.
Personal injury attorneys in Fort Pierce have a growing concern about victims being struck after an accident, considering the number of families who have been dealing with the aftermath of similar tragedies in the last few months. The Sun Sentinel reports there have been 4 separate incidents in recent months involving a victim who was struck by passing traffic after exiting their vehicle on a busy South Florida Highway.
The most recent accident was a truck driver who was struck and killed when he tried to cross the highway during pre-dawn hours after being involved in a rear-end crash with another tractor-trailer. Earlier this month a 15-year old boy from Miami was hit by a passing car while helping to push a disabled car off of I-95. The incident was a tragedy as he was fatally injured in the accident. In early March, four victims who survived an early morning crash exited their vehicle to go check on other victims involved in the crash. All four survivors were killed while crossing I-95 after being struck by oncoming traffic. The fourth tragic accident, similar in nature, occurred in January when a young woman was struck by a police officer in a moving vehicle as she left her disabled vehicle and tried to cross the highway.
Many times motorists who are involved in an accident want to get out of their vehicle to seek help or check on the other vehicles involved. The impact of the crash leaves victims emotional and stressed about what to do. If you are involved in a highway accident or your car becomes disabled, the Florida Highway Patrol offers a few suggestions to help keep you safe after the accident or once your vehicle is stopped.
First, pull your vehicle over to the shoulder of the road if it is safe to do so. Removing your vehicle from the middle of flowing traffic reduces the chances of a pile-up occurring involving other vehicles. If your vehicle is disabled and can’t be driven, put on your flashers and stay in your vehicle until help arrives.
Another suggestion if you must get out of your car is to find protection like a guardrail or solid wall to stand behind. Never stand directly behind your vehicle while facing oncoming traffic. If your vehicle is disabled or involved in an accident, it is best to remain in your vehicle, call the police, and wait for officers to appear at the scene. Exchanging information with another driver does not need to be done prior to the police arriving.
Last, never try to cross a major highway with speeding traffic to get to the other side. Vehicles that are traveling at 60, 70 or 80 mph have very little reaction time to stop in order to avoid hitting you or be hit by another vehicle behind them. Driving conditions like sun glare, inclement weather, or darkness can impair their vision and will likely not allow them to see someone who is trying to cross the highway where it isn’t typical to find pedestrians.
Florida motorists should have the common sense to slow down if they witness a disabled vehicle or vehicles involved in a crash along the road. Slowing your vehicle down could save a life or prevent a senseless tragedy.
If you or a loved one has been seriously or fatally injured in a car accident in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Margate or Port St. Lucie, contact the Law Offices of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez for experienced advice about your rights. Call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-800-529-2368.