It is important after a tragedy to remind ourselves of the perils of the roadside, both when we are in need of assistance and when others are in such need. Today one person lost his life and another person was injured, when another car hit them while they changed a tire.
The car that struck the imperiled driver and passenger was traveling into the northbound direction when the accident occurred. In my work representing victims of injury as a Clayton County auto injury lawyer, I know that the drivers and passengers of disabled vehicles can often become victims, as occurred here.
According to initial reports, this accident caused a major traffic pile-up after additional vehicles became involved in the incident. Traffic was impacted for three miles during a busy time of day. The tire was being changed in the triangular area that is part of the on-ramp to I-75. Authorities said that the driver who initially struck the two individuals, was able to stop to help. But after the initial accident, six cars ultimately collided into one another.
The person injured in this incident was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. However, the person’s condition is not currently known. A reconstruction team was brought in to investigate the tragedy. And two lanes were closed during this investigation which contributed to the major backup.
In this terribly sad situation, it is possible that the driver of the disabled car had no other place to go. And it remains to be seen what could have been done differently, if anything, to have avoided loss of life.
We all know that road shoulders and roadsides can be dangerous for workers and law enforcement. That is why Georgia’s Move Over Law mandates that drivers move over one lane if they can safely do so when workers or other officials are on the roadside. This mandate is set out in Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-16. It requires that if it is not possible for a driver to move over a lane, drivers must reduce their speed.
Statistics show that over ten percent of pedestrian deaths are caused in a roadside event such as a disabled vehicle. Where shoulders are paved, this reduces roadside crashes of all types. In this situation, we do not know if there was any other location where the vehicle could have been stopped for the tire change. If you are in a situation in which you must pull over, remember when possible to turn on your hazard lights. If you can place warning flares on the road, this helps other drivers slow down before they are too close to stop.
The best advice in this situation is get out of your vehicle and move away from it. Have your passengers move away as well. The safest thing to do is to move away and wait for help.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need likely need both medical and legal support. Please contact me personally at my law offices, for a free consultation about your rights. For two decades, the Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, P.C. has been dedicated to helping accident victims and their families. We are here to help you.