The auto accident attorneys in Clermont, Florida explain how to stay safe!
A study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed that individuals dealing with stopped or disabled automobiles frequently suffer severe injuries in automobile crashes caused by other drivers on the road.
In the past few years, crashes involving disabled or stopped automobiles have resulted in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths. Here are statistics related to crashes, involving a stopped automobile, which occurred between 2016 and 2018:
- More than 550 individuals were killed
- More than 14,000 injuries happened
- The injuries and fatalities resulted in over $8.5 billion in societal expenses, which included medical costs and lost income
- In 95% of accidents, a moving vehicle hit a stationary automobile
- In more than 50% of fatal accident cases, it was found that an individual near an immobile vehicle was hit by a passing vehicle.
Moreover, stopped-vehicle accidents bring significant financial stress to sufferers and their families. David Zuby, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, commented that the study recognized a key aspect of road safety that didn’t get the attention it deserves, despite the magnitude of the issue.
How Common Are Stopped-Vehicle Crashes?
Multiple accidents take place involving stopped or disabled automobiles. Such crashes often involve construction vehicles, road maintenance vehicles, police cruisers, tow trucks, and even ambulances, responding to different kinds of crashes.
As mentioned above, stopped-automobile accidents kill hundreds and injure thousands of people every year. Plus, over 300 individuals lose their lives every year while moving along the side of a road in order to deal with a disabled or stopped automobile. And, such accident-related deaths are only increasing with each passing year. Since 2014, pedestrian deaths due to accidents involving immobilized automobiles have surged by 25%.
Why Do Stopped-Vehicle Crashes Happen?
The IIHS study pointed out that drivers at fault who say that they had failed to observe the stopped or disabled automobile are mainly responsible for such crashes.
Along with several past studies, the IIHS study found three leading reasons behind stopped-automobile accidents:
- Failure to pay attention distracted individuals behind the wheel, eventually crashing their vehicles into a stopped automobile. This particularly holds true for individuals, who text while driving.
- Speeding drivers who are moving extremely fast, due to which they don’t get ample time to slow down so as to avoid smashing their vehicle into a disabled or stopped automobile.
- Drivers who fail to adjust to the conditions of the road or keep an eye out for other people and drivers by the side of the road.
How to Promote Safety
Whether you are driving past an immobilized automobile or you are faced with a situation wherein you require moving your disabled automobile to the side of the road, it is crucial to be wary of possible causes of accidents and understand how to mitigate such risks. The measures below can help drivers and people on the side of the road stay safe:
> Increase Visibility:
Visibility is possibly a factor in the bulk of accident cases involving a stopped automobile. These accidents usually happen when an immobilized automobile fails to be noticeable enough so that drivers get alerted of its risky position. Use headlights, hazard lights, flags, cones, flares, or other types of signals that can significantly make your vehicle observable. If your automobile is on the roadside, do everything possible to ensure that your vehicle can easily be observed by any approaching vehicle. If you are a driver, using fully-functional bright headlights can up your odds of observing an immobilized vehicle while having enough time to respond to the situation.
> Move Over:
In all 50 states, including Florida, “move over” laws are applicable that require vehicles to give way to ambulances and similar emergency vehicles. Sadly, since many first responders lost their lives after being hit by a passing vehicle in such cases, in 2019, the U.S. Government Accountability Office decided to make “move over” laws stricter and more effective. Having said that, irrespective of the present legislation, a great way to ensure the safety of everyone is to give a wide berth to immobilized automobiles on the side of the road.
> Maintain Your Vehicle:
As stated above, poor visibility is among the leading reasons behind stopped or disabled auto crashes. Regular car checks and maintenance can help you avert such accidents. Keeping your vehicle in good condition will prevent a damaged
headlight from reducing visibility, and it will also decrease the likelihood of your automobile breaking down.
> Slow Down:
Speed has been found to be a contributing factor in many automobile crashes – and disabled or stopped auto crashes are no exception. When your vehicle is moving at high speeds, you have less time to respond to situations, such as an immobilized vehicle on the side of the road. Passing vehicles at high speeds past creates a risky situation for people who might be attending a disabled automobile on the roadside.
> Notify Other Drivers:
It has already been discussed above how one can notify approaching drivers of your immobilized automobile. However, as the driver of an approaching vehicle, it is your responsibility too to take measures to safeguard a stopped car. As and when required, alert drivers around you about your vehicle’s presence, either by slowing down, moving over, or flashing your vehicle’s headlights. This will make others aware of the possible risks as you approach the immobilized vehicle.
> Never Drive Impaired:
Although this is obvious and applies to any situation involving moving or immobilized vehicles, being impaired can worsen a disabled-vehicle situation. It may include alcohol or drug impairment, as well as anxiety as stress, mental or physical distraction, or even an illness or injury. Moreover, it is equally risky to be impaired if you are on the side of the road. This is because it might increase your likelihood of coming into the direct path of an oncoming vehicle.
> Embrace New Technology:
Researchers are constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to enhance road safety via advanced forms of technology. There are devices that can help you with vehicle-to-vehicle communication, allowing vehicles to exchange information wirelessly, including driving direction, location, and speed. By staying on top of such technologies, you can make your vehicle safe for everyone on the road.
Get Legal Assistance If You’ve Been Injured in a Stopped-Vehicle Crash
Stopped-automobile crashes are virtually always preventable. However, when they happen, the impact can be perilous. So, never make the mistake of underestimating the severity or complexity of a serious auto accident.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a crash involving a stopped or disabled vehicle in Florida, it is important to understand your legal rights and what you are entitled to. Make sure you speak to an experienced car accident lawyer in Clermont, Florida at MANGAL, PLLC – Clermont Personal Injury Law Firm. Our skilled auto accident attorney will review your case and suggest the right legal course to help you get the compensation you deserve to cover your losses.
Contact Us to Schedule Your First FREE Consultation today!