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Vehicle breakdowns on side of highways can be deadly

Having a breakdown on the side of any Texas roadway is always concerning for the driver and passengers. However, it is extremely worrisome when it occurs on the side of a high-speed interstate where visibility may be lacking.

The tragic death of a man on the side of Interstate Route 10 reported by the San Antonio Express-News recently is an unfortunate reminder of the great care drivers and passengers need to exercise if they experience a breakdown on the highway. The speed of drivers on high-speed roadways can cause them to be unable to see and respond appropriately to avoid hitting a bystander.

Breakdown of vehicle on interstate results in fatality

The recent fatality included the leaving of the scene by the other vehicle, which may have been a tractor-trailer. Whether that driver committed a crime by not stopping after the accident as required by law is unclear. It may hinge on whether that driver was aware that he or she hit the person on the side of the road.

Authorities believe that the accident victim may have been attending to his broken-down car on the side of the highway when the other motor vehicle crashed into him. What safety precautions the gentleman followed while addressing his vehicle issues is unknown.

Safety tips may help prevent accident

A review of safest measures a driver should consider taking if his or her car breaks down is provided by the American Automobile Association and includes the following:

  • Turn on hazard lights, also known as emergency lights or flashers
  • If possible, try to steer vehicle out of traffic with any momentum it may still have
  • If exiting the vehicle, watch for oncoming traffic
  • Avoid standing behind or in front of the car
  • Open the hood, to increase the visibility of the vehicle to oncoming cars or trucks

AAA also advises to make one’s vehicle as further visible as possible by using flares if available as well as brightly colored cloth to tie to the antenna or catch in the rolled-up window.

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