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Is It Safer to Stay in Your Car After an Accident on the Interstate?

Staying in your car

Getting into a car accident or experiencing a mechanical malfunction at high speeds on the interstate or a highway can be scary. Your vehicle may be trapped in the center lanes or turned backward. Even if you manage to pull your car over to the emergency lane on the side, there may only be inches of space between you and oncoming traffic.

If you become involved in a motor vehicle accident and your vehicle is in close proximity to traffic, you should stay inside your vehicle. On freeways and interstates, cars are traveling at high speeds and drivers may not see your wrecked vehicle until they are almost upon it.

You may be worried another car or large truck could hit your car. Or you may want to check the damage to your vehicle or see if anyone else was hurt. But getting out of your vehicle could be a deadly mistake.

Recently, two tragic multi-vehicle accidents occurred in the early morning hours in Metro Atlanta. Both involved people getting out of their vehicles.

In the first incident, four men from four different vehicles were killed after getting out of their cars on I-285 after a crash. Two other individuals were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Another man was struck and killed while trying to change a tire near the median wall on the side of Lawrenceville Highway.

It’s normal to want to check for damage and see if anyone is hurt. But your personal safety should always come first.

Contact emergency services to report the accident. Move your vehicle to the side but only if it is safe to do so. Wait for the police and other emergency personnel to arrive and set up a safety perimeter.

If you experience engine or tire problems, consider calling Georgia’s 511 service for a HERO unit to assist with safety and repairs. This service is free and available 24/7 for both residents and non-residents alike.

Modern cars are designed to crumple and protect occupants. Even if your vehicle is struck again, the car can shield you from greater physical harm.

Dark or rainy conditions can make it difficult to see wrecked vehicles. Drunk and distracted drivers may not be paying attention or lack the reaction speed necessary to avoid a secondary collision.

Being inside your vehicle on a busy highway is safer than being outside of it. Stepping outside of your vehicle puts you at risk for further injuries and death.

Pedestrians struck by a vehicle going 40 mph or faster have a 90% or greater chance of dying due to severe injuries. Standing next to a vehicle or median wall also creates the risk that a car could crush you between vehicles or between the vehicle and the wall.

Of course, there are always exceptions. In certain situations, such as a gas leak, fire, chemical hazard, or other life-threatening conditions, you may be forced to flee your vehicle. In any situation, personal safety comes first.

Emergency Responders and Construction Workers

Sometimes a job requires a person to put themselves in harm’s way. Construction workers, tow truck operators, and emergency personnel, such as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics, are out on the side of the interstate on a daily basis.

These brave men and women often suffer near misses by motor vehicles while trying to help people, remove dangerous debris, or make important road repairs. In unfortunate cases, some are struck and injured or killed.

Remember: if you see amber, red, or blue flashing lights, slow down and move over into the next lane if it is safe to do so.

Multi-Vehicle Accident Attorney

If you have suffered traumatic injuries or lost a loved one due to a multi-car accident, Gary Martin Hays & Associates’ experienced personal injury lawyers are here to help.

We understand how dangerous Atlanta’s highways are and the devastating injuries that can result from chain reaction auto accidents. Our team supports injured victims and their families who were not at-fault for causing a wreck and are suffering as a result of someone’s negligence or mistake.

Contact our Atlanta personal injury law firm today at (770) 934-8000 or chat online to discuss your legal options and how we can make the process of filing an insurance claim easier and hassle-free.

Categories: Car Accident Posts
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