How Can I Avoid a Crash After an Emergency Roadside Stop?

By Peter DePaolis

Have you ever experienced a flat tire on the interstate or a mechanical issue that has caused you to move your vehicle to the side of the road? Photo of cars

If you experience a mechanical problem or emergency that causes you to pull over on a busy roadway, make sure you are as safe as possible. Here are some tips for moving your vehicle in a safe manner:

  • Make sure you do not suddenly brake in an attempt to pull over
  • Move your vehicle to a roadway shoulder, making sure you are no longer on the road
  • If you have roadside service through your car insurance or cell phone provider, attempt to call it to send assistance, rather than exiting a vehicle
  • If you are forced to make a repair on your own, make sure you remain alert to the traffic around you—do not assume other vehicles will be able to see you
  • Make sure your hazard lights are on display

Frankly, the best way you can avoid an accident in this situation may be to invest in a roadside assistance program, as we noted. Some cellular carriers and insurance providers offer plans for a very small price each month. In the event of an issue, they could provide you with a tow or safely change your tire.

D.C. Man Killed Changing Tire

Tragically, on February 1, a car struck a D.C. groom who was engaged to be married as he was changing a tire on the Baltimore Washington Parkway, north of Route 197 in Anne Arundel County.

The man, identified as 38-year-old Rick Warrick, was killed at the scene of the crash. His fiancée, 28-year-old Julia Pearce, was injured and transported to Baltimore’s Shock Trauma Center for injury treatment. Thankfully, two of Warrick’s children who were in the car, were not injured.

According to the Associated Press, witnesses said the couple was on the shoulder of the road when they were struck. The driver involved in the crash fled the scene of the accident and police are attempting to find him. The accident remains under investigation.

Working with an Attorney Following a Car Accident

Stay safe and alert if you need to pull over to the side of the road. If a driver hits you, he or she could potentially be held liable. Make sure you seek legal advice if you have questions about litigation following a vehicle accident.

For more information, continue to follow our blog. Our attorneys assist injury victims in Fairfax County, Prince William County, Loudoun County and Arlington County.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys


About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.