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Safety Tips: What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down On The Highway

posted on January 14, 2015

car accident lawyers offer tips on what to do if your car breaks down on the highway.

The statistics are startling. Nearly 4,000 pedestrians are killed on the nation’s roadways each year.

Bringing the issue closer to home, a former member of the Petersburg Bureau of Police and currently Mark & Harrison’s Director of Investigation, Keith Schilke was interviewed by CBS-6 recently about a tragic event that took place on Interstate 95. What should have been a routine stop for a state trooper attending to a disabled vehicle ended in death after the driver of the disabled vehicle got out of the car, attempted to cross 95 on foot and was struck by a passing vehicle.

Last year, Virginia State Police stopped to check on more than 178,000 disabled cars and trucks. These stops are often the most dangerous due to their unpredictable nature. To ensure the safety of police officers and drivers and to decrease events like this on our highways, Marks & Harrison wants to remind drivers of the rules of the road when it comes to disabled vehicles.

If your car is disabled: experts agree the most important pieces of advice are to find your way to a breakdown lane, turn on your hazard lights and wait for assistance inside your car. Today’s cars are equipped with so much technology that it’s unlikely the average driver can fix a problem without help. During inclement weather conditions, authorities often tell drivers involved in fender-benders to exchange insurance and contact information and file a police report later. This is only OK if no one is hurt and both cars still can be operated safely.

If you’re passing by a disabled car: always follow the Move Over Law. In Virginia, a driver approaching a stationary vehicle displaying flashing lights and traveling in the same direction must vacate the lane closest to the stationary vehicle or slow to a speed safe for highway conditions. The Move Over Law was created to keep everyone on roads safe, including drivers, law enforcement officers and highway safety officials.

Marks & Harrison urges you to not be a statistic. Always practice safe driving practices, be mindful of fellow drivers and respect those who protect us.

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