5 Reasons You Should Never Stop at the Shoulder of a Highway
November 6th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
If you need to pull your car off the road, you should avoid the shoulder wherever possible. That way, you can limit the risk of a car accident.
What Is the Shoulder of the Road?
A highway shoulder is a portion of the road that falls outside the outer lane and is designed for emergency use by traffic. There are two types of highway shoulders: hard and soft. A hard shoulder consists of a hardened strip of land, while a soft shoulder usually consists of gravel or dirt.
Only emergency and highway vehicles are allowed to use the shoulder of the road. If you use the shoulder for everyday highway travel, authorities could issue a citation or even arrest you. Worst of all, you could put yourself and others at risk of an accident that could lead to injuries or fatalities.
Why Should You Avoid Stopping on the Shoulder of a Highway?
Key reasons why you should avoid stopping on a highway shoulder include:
1. Poor Visibility
It can be tough for drivers to see a car parked on the shoulder of a highway, particularly at night or in snow, rain, or other inclement weather conditions. So, if you are trying to repair a flat tire or check your car’s engine while your vehicle is parked on a highway shoulder, other drivers may struggle to see you or your car. In this instance, a car could strike you or your vehicle at a high speed.
2. Driver Confusion
When pulling off a highway, most drivers try to get as far away from the main road as possible rather than leave their car stopped on the shoulder. If a driver stops their car on the shoulder, other motorists may become confused. This can lead these motorists to understeer or oversteer or swerve toward a car stopped on the shoulder, resulting in an accident.
3. Debris Injuries
If you stand outside a car parked on a highway shoulder, other vehicles may quickly travel past you, which can cause debris to whip toward you at high speeds. This debris can result in injuries or damage to your vehicle.
4. Rear-End or Side-Swipe Accidents
As you slow down and enter the shoulder of a highway, other cars may follow you. In this scenario, these cars may accidentally rear-end or side-swipe your vehicle.
5. Re-Entry Collisions
Traveling from a highway shoulder back onto a main road can be challenging. If you’re not able to match the speed of traffic, you could cause a collision.
What to Do If Your Car Is Stopped on a Highway Shoulder
If you must pull your car over to the shoulder of a highway, move your vehicle as far off the main road as you can. Next, activate your vehicle’s hazard lights. If you have hazard cones, place them around your car. Hazard lights and cones alert other motorists that you are dealing with an emergency, which can help them avoid an accident.
For drivers who park their car on the shoulder because it’s not running properly, call a tow truck or family members or friends for assistance. In the meantime, stand on the opposite side of the main road at least 100 feet away from your car until help arrives.
Lastly, if a collision occurs while your car is stopped on the shoulder and damages your car’s exterior, help is available. The Fix Auto team can perform bumper, windshield, and other car exterior repairs at your convenience. We are happy to repair your car’s exterior following a highway shoulder accident. To schedule a service appointment, please contact us online or call us today at 800.INFO.FIX.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Palmdale, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing Palmdale.
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