Getting a flat tire or having a car break down can be an inconvenience. Unfortunately, if your car trouble happens on a busy road, the incident can become deadly. Just recently, KWHC reported a pedestrian was hurt in an accident while the pedestrian had stopped to fix a flat tire on I-135.
When you experience a car breakdown, you need to know the best way to stay safe to avoid becoming a victim of a pedestrian crash. Other motorists also have responsibilities to avoid striking and hurting you if your car has broken down. If drivers fail to follow best practices for safety and injure a pedestrian who is dealing with a broken vehicle, the drivers can be held accountable for the losses from these pedestrian crashes.
The recent crash on I-135 shows the grave consequences of stopping due to car trouble. The Kansas Highway Patrol indicated there were two vehicles stopped on the right shoulder of the interstate, with two pedestrians standing outside of the vehicles. A third vehicle, a Buick Regal, was traveling on the interstate and hit on of the two stopped cars, a Dodge Durango.
The Dodge Durango was pushed by the Buick Regal into the pedestrian and into the other stopped vehicle on the road, which was a Toyota Camry. The driver of the Buick Regal, who was from Wichita, had reportedly drifted to the right. The man who was injured was 33 and was from Flagstaff Arizona. A second pedestrian was involved in the accident as well, but did not sustain any injury.
The pedestrian was at risk of this accident because he was on the highway where vehicles were traveling fast. National Safety Council (NSC) provides recommendations for motorists with a flat tire or broken down car on the highway. NSC urges drivers to smoothly and gently remove their foot from the accelerator at the first sign their vehicle is having trouble. Drivers should avoid sudden or hard braking and should try to work their vehicle over to the side of the road or breakdown lane safely. If the car trouble starts on an interstate, drivers should try to get to the exit.
Once on the road shoulder or off the road, drives should use whatever equipment is available to them, such as flares, around their vehicle to make it visible to other motorists. Emergency flashers should be put on, and if it is dark outside, the interior light of the car should be put on as well.
If your tire is flat, you should change it only if you can do so without being close to traffic. If you are not in a position to safely change the tire or if the problem with the car is beyond repair, you should get professional help. You can tie something white to the vehicle's antenna or hang something white out your window so passing tow truck operators and police officers will be aware of the need for help. If your car is safely out of the traffic area, you can wait in the vehicle with the doors locked. If the car is near to traffic, you should stand away from the vehicle and away from the road and wait for help to arrive. You should use your cell phone to call for help, and avoid walking on interstates.
Drivers also must watch for stopped vehicles and avoid them so they do not become responsible for pedestrian accidents.