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An ambulance carrying two emergency medical technicians and a patient was rear-ended by a dump truck on I-264 in Park Duvalle. The accident took place in the eastbound lanes of the I-264 near the Bells Lane exit around 3 pm, January 7, 2019, and shut down the eastbound lanes for around four hours.

According to police at the scene, the ambulance pulled over on the shoulder of the interstate so the driver could help the EMT in the back deal with a combative patient and was then rear-ended by a dump truck. A semi-truck swerved across several lanes to avoid the wreck, and a white sedan and a black SUV struck the semi. The sedan turned on its side and the SUV went under the semi.

Pictures of the scene show that the ambulance was completely destroyed, and it’s fortunate that no one was killed. The two EMT’s and the patient and three others were transported to University Hospital, and a minor was taken to Norton Children’s Hospital.

Highway Shoulder Accidents

When a vehicle needs to pull over on the shoulder of a freeway or highway, it can be very dangerous as other vehicles are passing at high speeds. One moment of inattention by the driver of a passing vehicle can mean serious injury or death. According to the American Automobile Association, approximately 12 percent of freeway accidents happen because someone pulled over on the shoulder. This translates to over 600 fatalities and thousands of injuries each year.

Causes of Roadside Shoulder Accidents

Shoulders of highways and freeways are made for emergencies to give motorists a way to get out of traffic. However, the shoulder is a risky place to be. Sometimes there is poor lighting, and often the other motorists have a difficult time spotting someone who might be bent down changing a tire. There are many causes and types of shoulder accidents, some of them are:

  • Speed differential: A stopped car can be passed at speeds from 55 to 70+.
  • Poor visibility: No lighting or poor lighting can create dark spots at night that can make it hard for passing drivers to see.
  • Rear-end collisions: Another driver might try to pull over at the same spot, or might drift because of distraction or fatigue and strike the car or person on the shoulder.
  • Side-swipe collisions: When a car drifts just a little, it can create a high risk for a side-swipe collision.
  • Pedestrian collisions: Motorists who exit their vehicle on the shoulder are at risk from being struck by a passing car.
  • Re-entering Crashes: Many times, a successful shoulder pull-over can be met with disaster when the driver attempts to re-enter traffic.

What to do When you Have to Pull Over

According to the safety experts, there are ways to minimize the danger when you pull over on the shoulder. The AAA suggests 10 ways to increase your chance of pulling over and re-entering traffic without incident:

  1. If not an emergency, get off at an exit and then to somewhere safe.
  2. Choose your spot wisely.
  3. Put out reflectors of flares if you have them.
  4. Call quickly for assistance.
  5. Pull off to the right side of the road.
    • The more room the better.
    • Well lit
    • On a straight spot of roadway if possible.
  6. Turn on your hazard lights. …
  7. Stay seat belted in your vehicle if possible
  8. Exit your vehicle opposite the side of oncoming traffic.
  9. If outside the vehicle, stand on the side of the shoulder farthest from the roadway.
  10. When re-entering, get up to speed quickly and then merge.

What if I’m Hit While on the Shoulder of a Road?

The first thing to do is to get to a safe place if you can move. If one car hit you, then another can do the same. After that, administer first aid if necessary, and then get help as quickly as possible. Then if it can be done safely, get information from the person who hit you, and take pictures.

At the time, the most important thing is the safety of the people involved, and then the focus should be on medical treatment and rehabilitation. However, there will come a time when the financial losses will change the focus to compensation for your injuries and other damages.

Once this happens, you need to talk to an attorney who can advise you and evaluate your claim. Even if you don’t hire the attorney, get a free consultation so you can make an informed decision. Call the attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, and they will stand behind you to make sure that you are treated fairly and that you get the highest compensation allowed by the law.

When you call Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, at 800 937-8443, you will immediately speak to a member of the legal team and not a message machine. You can also Live Chat with an expert who can immediately began helping you with your claim.