When a driver needs to pull off onto the side of the roadway in Rhode Island, they often place their lives and the lives of their passengers in grave danger. While many courteous drivers in RI provide ample space for the disabled motorist parked along the side of the road, others are driving distracted or impaired by drugs or alcohol. Every year, many victims lose their lives in breakdown lane accidents in Rhode Island when other passenger cars and commercial trucks crash into vehicles disabled in the side lane.
Breakdown Lane collision
The breakdown lane in Providence, Warwick, Pawtucket or Woonsocket is one of the most unsafe places to be on the roadway especially on 95S Or 95N when irresponsible drivers break the law. Often times, victims are hit when drivers use the breakdown lane to pass other motorists on the right. However, these lanes were never designed to be a high-speed or express alternative to move quicker through slow traffic or to make entering or exiting a roadway easier.
Using the Lane Safely to avoid accidents
The breakdown lane is constructed into the road system to provide a safe area when anything goes wrong with the vehicle. However, using the lane properly requires good judgment and following safety rules to ensure the driver and passengers remain protected. These safety tips include:
• Vehicle Maintenance – Keeping the car or truck well maintained minimizes the potential of breaking down.
• Keep Moving If Possible – Many highways are dangerous areas that should be avoided during a break down. If the vehicle / auto does not have a flat tire or dead engine, consider moving through an off ramp to a safer location if possible.
• Pulling Over – It is essential to pull the vehicle or pickup truck over on the breakdown lane as far as possible to stay away from passing traffic.
• Raise the Hood – Opening and raising the motor vehicles vehicle’s hood is a recognized international distress sign requesting “help” from others.
• Exit on the Safe Side – If the driver or any passenger exits the automobile or truck, it is essential to get out on the side not facing oncoming traffic. This minimizes the potential of being hit by other cars or trucks moving on the roadway.
• Use Flashing Lights and Flares – Turning on the vehicle’s flashing lights is an effective warning to passing vehicles as our flares positioned 50 to 100 feet directly behind the disabled vehicle. However, it is important to use lit flares carefully.
• Stay behind Railing – If weather and roadway conditions allow, the driver and passengers of the car should exit the vehicle to stand behind a roadway guardrail or any barrier that provides additional protection.
• Avoid the Traffic – Crossing a high-speed freeway on foot can be catastrophic. Instead, avoid the traffic, sit tight and wait for help to arrive.
Staying alive after pulling off the roadway in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and into the breakdown lane requires common sense. It is best to use good judgment and make smart decisions to protect yourself and any passenger in the vehicle.
Using the emergency lane in Warwick, Cranston, or Providence for anything other than an emergency is often not a wise decision. This is because it often requires the driver to reenter moving traffic at excessive speed, which increases the risk of having a breakdown lane accident.
Injuries and Fatalities in Rhode Island vehicular collisions
Legal action is often required in Providence Superior Court when a motorist suffers serious injuries or is killed in a breakdown lane through the negligent actions of others. The victim or surviving family members might have the right to file a claim or lawsuit for compensation against all irresponsible drivers or other third parties at fault for the emergency lane accident.
A skilled RI car accident attorney who specializes in cases involving breakdown lane accidents can build a case for compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation expenses, replacement or repair of the vehicle, funeral and burial costs, pain and suffering.