Driving on our nation’s highways can be dangerous. It is even more dangerous to stop on the side of the road. Most highways and interstates have breakdown lanes. They appear wide enough to accommodate most vehicles that would need to stop there. Pulling over into a breakdown lane seems safe enough. It is not.
Some states allow drivers to drive in the breakdown lane during rush hour traffic to reduce congestion. This practice adds to the many dangers of being stopped in the breakdown lane. Vehicles still have difficulties on roads that allow breakdown use for driving. It is easy to forget that the lane will be used for traffic when stopping. Other vehicles using the breakdown lane for travel need to be aware of the possibility of a stopped vehicle. There is another danger of drivers forgetting what hours the breakdown lane is used for travel. Drivers who are accustomed to driving in the breakdown lane during rush hours may use the breakdown at other times as well.
Too many police officers and vehicle assistance professionals are struck while assisting disabled motorists. Many operators are also struck in the breakdown lane as they attempt to change tires or to flag down help. The breakdown lane can be hazardous for anyone there. Vehicles travelling on the highway are usually doing so at high speeds. Many things can happen. Vehicles can lose control. Some operators may be intoxicated or using a cell phone and veer off the primary lanes into the breakdown lane.
Several states have enacted laws designed to improve the safety of those stopped in the breakdown lane. These laws are often referred to as “Move Over, Slow Down” laws. The laws ask operators to move over, if possible, when approaching a breakdown or police officer on the side of the road. These laws also demand that operators slow down. These laws also apply to highway construction and road repair sites.
Drive safely. Stay aware of the dangers of the roads. Please contact our law firm for assistance if you are involved in any type of accident. We are here to help.