Roadside accidents are not always caused by trucks and vehicles traveling illegally in the emergency lane.
A car or truck which breaks down on the road is supposed to move to the shoulder of the road, also known as the breakdown lane. It should not stop on the highway and obstruct traffic. The driver should try to get off at the nearest exit or use the roadside. While most drivers on the road will often try to allow the disabled vehicle to get to a safe place, this becomes difficult when there is a lot of traffic. Accidents occur when another vehicle slams into the disabled automobile.
The Breakdown or Emergency Lane
The breakdown lane or emergency lane is meant for trucks, minivans, cars and other motor vehicles that breakdown on the road. This provides a place for drivers to repair their vehicle, add gas or change a flat tire. Drivers should be very careful while doing this. They should always make sure that their body and the tools they are using are not exposed to oncoming traffic.
This lane is provided as a safeguard for motorists who have to stop and wait for assistance for their automobile. It is not a passing lane or an express lane meant for vehicles traveling at high speeds.
Situations in Which Breakdown Lane Accidents Can Occur
Breakdown lane accidents are not always caused by trucks and vehicles traveling illegally in the emergency lane. Some of the common situations in which such accidents may occur are:
- A sleepy or drowsy driver may drive in a negligent manner and turn into the breakdown lane. He may hit a motor vehicle or a pedestrian. The person who is changing the deflated tire may be injured.
- When the road is slippery or covered with ice an automobile may skid into the breakdown lane and slam into a motor vehicle standing in the emergency lane.
- The accident may take place when a driver who is driving recklessly because he is intoxicated or is under the influence of drugs, veers into the emergency lane involuntarily.
- Sometimes, when a rear-end collision occurs a car may push the other vehicle into the breakdown lane.
- Finally, irresponsible drivers who do not follow the safety guidelines on busy roadways can cause such accidents.
In such situations, pedestrians who are in the emergency lane near the disabled vehicle are in danger. Therefore, everyone including motorists, passengers, and children should stay away from oncoming traffic.
Seeking Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
If a driver or passenger who is using the emergency or breakdown lane is injured or killed in an accident caused by a passing motorist or trucker, he can claim compensation. A civil action is taken against the party at fault. Under some circumstances, the party may also face criminal charges.
The injured party can file a personal injury claim and hold the irresponsible driver responsible. If the accident is fatal, the deceased person’s family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek financial compensation.