Florida has the dubious distinction of being home to three of the nation’s most dangerous interstates. Interstate 95 consistently earns the title of deadliest road in the country.
With so many dangerous highways running through the Sunshine State, it’s especially important to drive as carefully and conscientiously as possible. And if you’re injured in an auto accident, one of your first steps should be contacting a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer.
Even the most law-abiding drivers make poor decisions every now and then. You get in a hurry, or you feel frustrated at another motorist’s behavior. In these situations, many drivers do things they know they probably shouldn’t.
Here are five things you should never do when driving on the highway.
1. Stop on the Highway
Accidents and emergencies happen, but you should never stop your vehicle on a highway lane unless you absolutely have no choice. One Canadian woman learned an incredibly tragic lesson when she stopped her car in the left line of a highway to help a family of ducks cross the road.
Sadly, a father and daughter approaching on a motorcycle didn’t see the stopped vehicle and crashed into it at full speed. Both were killed on impact.
Although the driver of the stopped vehicle faced life in prison, the judge sentenced her to 90 days in jail and 240 hours of community service. The judge also banned the woman from driving for 10 years.
If you run out of gas, or your vehicle stalls in the middle of the highway, try to glide to the side of the road. If an exit is nearby, do your best to get off the highway completely.
2. Back Up
Has this scenario ever happened to you? You’re driving a familiar route you have driven a hundred times before. Your brain sort of goes on autopilot, and you drive right past your exit.
The next exit is five or ten miles ahead, which will add another 20 minutes to what should have been a five-minute ride home. There are no other vehicles anywhere in sight.
It would be really easy to simply slow down, throw the car in reverse, and back up. The problem is that driving in reverse on the highway can get you killed.
Cars can come out of nowhere – and on the highway, they are typically traveling speeds of 65 miles an hour or more. Saving twenty minutes isn’t worth losing your life.
3. Drive on the Shoulder
Everyone has been there: At the end of a long day at work, you’re stuck in a traffic jam a quarter of a mile from your exit. You might be tempted to bypass all the cars ahead of you by driving on the shoulder, but this can cause a serious or fatal accident.
Emergency vehicles often use the shoulder as a way to reach accidents quickly. If there is a crash ahead, an ambulance or police car could zoom up the shoulder and collide with your vehicle before you even realize what’s happening.
4. Use the Median as a U-turn
Highways are not intersections. Making a turn onto a highway is incredibly dangerous, and medians, whether they are paved or just grassy indentations, are not intended for this purpose. If you need to turn around, wait for the next exit and do it safely and lawfully.
5. Exit Your Vehicle
Obviously, it is sometimes important and necessary to leave your vehicle. If your safety is at stake, don’t hesitate to get out of your car.
For example, if you see or smell smoke, you should pull over, exit your car, and walk a safe distance away. However, this is an extreme situation that warrants getting out of the car.
Most of the time, it’s best to remain in your vehicle. In 2012, a Florida driver and his passenger both left the safety of their vehicle on the highway during an argument. The driver was struck and killed by another motorist.
Get more information about car accidents in Florida:
- How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Florida?
- 5 Causes of Highway and Interstate Accidents
Get a West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer on Your Team
When you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, you need The Law Team on your side. Call today to speak to a car accident lawyer about your case.