A man was struck and killed this morning while standing next to his truck that was parked on the shoulder of the main lanes of I-10. Should you ever have to pull over on a high traffic freeway or highway, it’s important to take certain safety precautions to prevent you and others from causing an accident. Click to read more on what you can do.

All too often do we see people and their vehicles  on the sides of the overly-congested, high-speed roadways Houston is so notorious for. Their close proximity to oncoming traffic can make an on-looking driver cringe, and even ponder the unpleasant  premonition of “what if that guy gets hit?” Road shoulders were made for various reasons, particularly for unexpected driving circumstances like blow-outs and avoiding head on collisions. And even though they are a means to help prevent roadside disasters, they themselves can be prime contributor to them if people aren’t careful.

In order to avoid getting into an accident or causing one while on a road shoulder, it is wise to follow these important safety measures:

As a driver who has to pull-over:

  • Find an open spot on the side of the road or shoulder and PUT YOUR HAZARD LIGHTS ON immediately so other vehicles can see you pulling over.
  • Once pulled over, make your vehicle more visible by leaving the headlights on and turning on your dome light in addition to the flashers.
  • All vehicles should have an emergency kit. Place reflective triangles behind the vehicle.
  • Raise the hood, if necessary, to show drivers that your vehicle is disabled.
  • DO NOT STAND behind or next to your vehicle while waiting for help. Stay in the vehicle until assistance can be rendered, especially in high-traffic areas.
  • DO NOT try to flag down other passing vehicles for help.
  • Tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it out the window so police officers or tow truck operators will know help is needed.
  • Make sure to keep a copy of your roadside assistance or accident policy on the vehicle at all times

As an Onlooker:

  • If you are approaching a person pulled off to the side of the road, SLOW DOWN.
  • Move to a lane farther away from the accident for extra precaution.
  • Only pullover to help if you are skilled in fixing the existing problem, and are knowledgeable of the safety precautions of doing so

Roadside mishaps are unexpected and inevitable, but they can be safely and easily managed if we both do our part as the driver and the onlooker. With a little bit of awareness and knowledge about safety measures, we can prevent further life-threatening road-shoulder accidents from happening.