Vehicle emergencies that occur on the highway can be stressful experiences. Knowing how, where, and when to safely stop can be challenging, especially when traveling along a busy stretch of road. Sometimes, even if you are following all road laws governing emergency stops, others may not.
Personal injuries sustained due to this level of carelessness may adversely impact your life in a number of ways. A skilled personal injury lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT can help you get the compensation necessary to make things easier to manage during these situations.
Emergency Highway Shoulder Stop Laws
As is the case in every state in the country, Utah drivers must obey the “Move Over” law. It dictates that drivers approaching emergency vehicles, tow trucks, or other highway maintenance vehicles that have flashing lights on must slow down and move over at least one lane if possible.
The state also notes that drivers in distress may legally pull over on the shoulder of the highway – after all, that’s why it’s there. Pulling over onto a highway shoulder ensures that you do not block traffic or cause an accident by trying to stop in the middle of the highway.
How to Safely Stop on a Utah Highway
Unfortunately, not all motorists respect road rules when it comes to vehicles stopped on highway shoulders. AAA notes that pedestrian traffic stopped alongside highways accounts for 10% of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. each year. As such, keep a few tips in mind when trying to figure out how to safely stop during an emergency on Utah highways:
- Turn on your hazard lights and safely move over to the far right lane of traffic: Do so carefully and with extreme caution. Consider the conditions in which you are doing so, such as inclement weather, speed, the behavior of drivers around you. While you may assume they see your hazard lights, this may not be so, depending on the road conditions.
- Pull into the shoulder: Slowly decrease your speed and when you have slowed down enough, pull over onto the shoulder of the highway. Don’t push the brake immediately at this point. Instead, continue to press the brake until the vehicle has safely stopped. Try to pull as far away from the edge of the road as possible.
- Stay in your car and call for assistance: If it is possible to remain in your car, do so. It is much safer in your vehicle than it is on the side of the road.
- Use emergency devices if you must get out of your vehicle: Keep your hazard lights on and use cones or brightly colored objects in front of and behind the car if possible. The more you can alert other drivers to your presence, the better.
Sometimes, you may do everything you can to stop safely during an emergency on a Utah highway, but other drivers don’t respect the laws governing these stops. When careless drivers cause accidents that result in an injury or adversely impact you or your loved ones, you may have legal recourse.
After all, when you follow the laws and handle the situation the way you should, you should not be penalized for those who don’t do the same.
Get Legal Help with Personal Injury Claims Incurred from Emergency Highway Stops
When you safely stop alongside a Utah highway to deal with an emergency but end up injured anyway, consider working with a Utah personal injury lawyer to manage the situation. After all, you should not be forced to deal with the consequences of another driver’s carelessness after doing the right thing.
Dealing with the emergency that caused you to pull over in the first place is bad enough. Incurring additional medical and lifestyle expenses is unfair, and you deserve compensation to help you get through such a complicated set of circumstances.
Work with a Utah Personal Injury Lawyer If Injured During Emergency Highway Stops
It can be extremely frustrating to do the right thing during an emergency highway stop, only to be injured because someone else was not doing the same. A reputable Utah personal injury lawyer can help you to figure out your options in terms of compensation. The team at Feller & Wendt may also be able to assist in negotiating with insurance companies and healthcare facilities to ensure that you have all the resources necessary to overcome any challenges associated with the incident in question.
Personal injury cases can be tough, but the team at Feller & Wendt is more formidable. Our 30 combined years of experience ensure we have the necessary background to take on your case. Give us a call at (801) 499-5060 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation.