There are so many auto accidents that happen across the country every day that nobody is truly shocked to hear about them anymore. We essentially have two sets of criteria that will grab our attention these days to make us sit up and take notice of an incident. It either needs to be particularly gruesome or salacious, or it has to be something that personally affects us somehow. It’s unfortunate, but that’s human nature.
A practice that should affect everyone personally, is understanding how to keep ourselves safe in a car accident, or even to prevent yourself from becoming part of one. We have all of this knowledge available to us about safety features on the roadway, in our vehicles, and even just procedures to be aware of that all seem to be becoming a thing of the past as we rely more upon technology to take care of everything.
Freak accidents happen and can turn fatal quickly. Take the car crash that occurred in South Carolina in July 2019. After two cars collided at around 2:00 a.m. on I-77, one pulled to the shoulder, while the other remained in the roadway. That driver exited his vehicle and as he stood in the road, was hit and killed by a third vehicle traveling down I-77. The driver of the third vehicle then exited his SUV and remained standing in the roadway when a fourth vehicle traveling down the highway struck and killed him.
In a similar incident in New Jersey, a man suffered a serious personal injury when he lost his leg in early November after getting out of his vehicle to check the damage from a minor rear-end collision. A third vehicle struck the car that initially hit him, crushing him between that car and his own. The man faces numerous surgeries and physical therapy ahead.
If you are not inside the protection of your vehicle, you must take other measures to guarantee your safety until help arrives. Deaths and injuries are avoidable, or can at least be minimized, when drivers understand what to do after an accident, or when your car has broken down. Assuming you are not severely injured and are able to move, you may need to take some of the following measures simultaneously to act as quickly as possible to avoid catastrophe:
- If your vehicle is disabled in the roadway due to collision or breakdown, immediately call 911 to request assistance. If vehicles will take time to move from the roadway, police may need to block off the roadway for the safety of other drivers and first responders.
- Safely make your car visible by adding light to as many places as possible. Turn on your emergency flashers and headlights. If it’s dark outside, also turn on your interior dome light to maximize the chance of someone seeing your vehicle from a distance.
- If your vehicle is still in the roadway and is immobile, look around to find the safest spot away from traffic, and to check for any moving traffic before attempting to exit your vehicle to reach that spot for cover until help arrives. It’s unsafe to remain in your disabled vehicle in the roadway. If you have pets with you that also need to be removed from your vehicle, make sure you have them secured with a leash before leaving the vehicle. A pet may become scared and break free from your grip, putting you both in danger, and potentially causing another accident.
- Do not stand behind or next to your vehicle under any circumstances whether you are in the roadway, or in the emergency lane or on the shoulder. Stand as far away as possible from your car and any other involved vehicles in case a subsequent collision occurs.
In Alabama, there are over 400 traffic crashes per day, most of which occur in urban areas. With one in three Alabamans becoming victims of injury or death in a traffic accident over their lifetime, it’s important to have strong legal representation to fight for your rights to compensation when the time comes. That’s exactly what you will receive with the seasoned experience of the Alabama car accident attorneys of the Mezrano Law Firm.
Speak with one of our caring attorneys by calling 205-206-6300 to schedule your free case evaluation, or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact page. We take pride in serving the citizens of the State of Alabama with offices located in Birmingham, Mobile, Florence, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden, and Montgomery for your convenience.