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Stopping to help? Avoid a pedestrian crash

If you’re driving and notice that someone has broken down on the side of the road, will you pull over to stop? Many people will, which is wonderful for those who need help. The problem is that being outside your vehicle on any roadway is dangerous.

Pedestrian accidents can be fatal, especially at higher speeds. If you stop to help someone on the side of the highway in Frankfort, for example, and are hit by a passing car, the likelihood is that you’ll suffer severe injuries or die from the impact. If you plan to help as a good Samaritan, then you need to stay safe when you do so.

What can you do to stay safe if you’re a pedestrian on a highway?

The first thing to keep in mind is that pedestrians are not supposed to be on a highway. Yes, someone may need help, but there are good and bad ways to go about it. For instance, if they need a phone to call for help, you can give them your phone and wait inside their vehicle or vice-versa. Doing this means that you have some protection if you’re hit. If you’re not inside a vehicle, the direct impact could kill you.

Another thing to remember is that there are roadside assistance teams for a reason. They have the right tools, like flares and reflective signs, to signal to others that they need to move into another lane and avoid an upcoming collision or disabled vehicle. They also have larger trucks that can block the vehicle off, so that any collision is less likely to hit the smaller vehicle or hurt the people involved.

In the event that the other person needs help and you’re there to provide it, put on your hazard lights and put a little distance between your vehicle and the other car. You want drivers to have as much notice that there is a disabled vehicle as possible up ahead. Ask the driver to turn on their hazard lights, too, if they have them.

In the case that the vehicle is still running, move it as far off the roadway as possible. In some instances, you may have only a short way to go to the next exit. If you can get there or to a side street or parking lot, then try to move the vehicle slowly.

Overall, your goal has to be to warn others of the disabled vehicle and to protect your own life. Call 911 or the police for assistance when you arrive at any scene where there has been an accident or there is a disabled vehicle.

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