How to Safely Park Off the Freeway in an Austin Emergency

April 17, 2019 | By DJC Law Attorneys
How to Safely Park Off the Freeway in an Austin Emergency

Sometimes, you need to quickly park your car while driving on the freeway. For example, you might have been hit by a vehicle and need to get to the side of the road. Or you might have a flat tire which needs to be changed. Whatever the emergency, there are certain things you need to do so that you don’t get hit by passing traffic.

At DJC Law, we take traffic safety seriously and offer this list of tips to make sure you stay in one piece.

Avoid Stopping on a Curve

If you park on a curve, then traffic will not be able to see you until they are right beside your parked car. This happened in a recent fatal collision on I-10, where a man parked on a curve to work on his truck.  If possible, park on a straightaway. This will give traffic sufficient time to see you so that they can avoid hitting your car.

Get as Much of the Car Off the Freeway as Possible

Some freeways have adequate shoulders that will allow you to pull all the way off the road. This is ideal. You don’t want an approaching vehicle to clip you. However, other freeways have very narrow shoulders, which means that part of your vehicle will still be in the road. Nevertheless, try to get as much of your vehicle onto the shoulder as possible.

Turn on Your Flashers

Flashers will alert traffic that you are stopped on the side of the road and not merely trying to merge into traffic. Turn on the flashers as soon as you put your car in park.

Some people have cones or flags in their safety kits. You can also put these up to warn approaching traffic that you are parked on the side of the road.

Exit from the Passenger Side

If you need to get out of the vehicle, then you shouldn’t get out on the driver’s side, which is near the traffic. Instead, get out on the passenger’s side of the vehicle, which can protect passengers from getting hit.

Of course, you might be nestled up right beside the guard rail if the shoulder is narrow. In this case, you need to exercise extreme caution when getting out of the vehicle. Ideally, you will stay inside with your seatbelts still on.

Don’t Change a Tire on the Freeway

Call for a tow and be towed off the road, where you can change the tire in a safer manner. If you kneel in the highway to change a tie, your chances of getting hit by a vehicle are too high.

Merge Safely

If you decide to merge back into traffic, you need to make sure you give yourself plenty of room. You might need to wait a long time for enough space to open up, but if you pull out in front of someone you increase the risk of getting hit.

Speak to an Austin Car Accident Lawyer

DJC Law represents the interests of injured motorists in Austin. If you need an attorney to speak to, please contact us today. We offer a free case review and initial consultation, which you can schedule by calling 512-888-9999.