On November 24, two vehicles got into an accident when one man attempted to merge back into traffic after pulling off the freeway to change a tire in Montgomery County. The man trying to enter the freeway was hit by a van when he failed to yield to the van. Several injuries and one fatality resolved from the accident. Here are some tips to prevent an accident if you ever have to stop on the side of a freeway:
- Whenever possible, avoid stopping on the shoulder of a freeway. This should be a last resort and should only be done in an emergency situation. When possible, take the next exit ramp and pull into a parking lot or another area where you are safely off the road.
- If you must stop on the freeway shoulder, do not stop on a curve or other area where it will be hard to see oncoming traffic.
- When stopping on a freeway shoulder, turn on your flashers to alert other vehicles of your presence. It is best to stay in your vehicle and either call for roadside assistance or wait for a police officer to arrive to assist you.
- Do not work on your vehicle, including changing a tire, if you are working on the side of the road near traffic. It is generally best to avoid working on your vehicle at all on a freeway. Instead, have your vehicle towed to a safer location.
- Make sure there is enough room to merge back into traffic before attempting to get back on the freeway. Do not assume another vehicle will slow down or pull into another lane to make room for you.
- When merging back into traffic, take into account the speed of other vehicles. Speed up to freeway traffic as quickly as possible.
- If you see a vehicle stopped on the side of the freeway, move into a lane away from the vehicle if possible. If you must stay in the lane near the vehicle, watch for people getting out of the vehicle or walking around it, and be ready to slow down if the driver tries to merge back into traffic.