Washington State Patrol vehicles have been involved in car accidents this past week. Today, a trooper’s vehicle was sideswiped as the trooper was speaking with a driver whom the Trooper had stopped.
This accident comes after two patrol cars were rear-ended on Monday night when they were struck by a suspected DUI driver on Monday night on Interstate 5.
On Wednesday night, a trooper’s car was struck by a hit and run driver on Interstate 405 in Kirkland.
Luckily for the troopers, none of them were seriously injured.
These motor vehicle accidents illustrate how dangerous it is to park a vehicle on the shoulder of a highway. In 2012, 44 state patrol vehicles were struck, usually while the vehicle was stopped on a highway shoulder.
A shoulder often serves as an emergency stopping lane where a motorist can pull in case of a breakdown. Emergency vehicles and police also use the lane. Despite it being legal to stop on the shoulder in case of a breakdown, one should avoid it except in case of emergency.
Avoid stopping on highway shoulder for non-emergencies
As illustrated by the accidents described above, a highway shoulder is one of the most dangerous places to stop.
When a vehicle is stopped on a shoulder, drunk drivers might actually be confused by flashing emergency lights and strike the vehicle.
If your vehicle becomes disabled while you are driving along the highway, try to avoid pulling onto a shoulder. Try to pull off the highway , a rest area or a parking lot where you can wait for assistance.
If you do have to stop on a shoulder, try pulling completely off of the roadway, turn your emergency lights on, place flares outside of your vehicle and try not to remain in your vehicle. If you don’t feel safe and you remain inside your vehicle, use your shoulder safety belt.
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have been killed.