Authorities Urge Missouri Drivers to Move a Safe Distance after Interstate Crashes
Posted on October 25th, 2012 by Zane Cagle
A Lee’s Summit, Missouri woman is dead after being struck by three SUVs while inspecting her crashed vehicle in the roadway, according to the Kansas City Star. She struck the center cable barrier and was standing outside her vehicle assessing the damage when she was knocked over by one SUV, then run over by two more. In light of this tragic accident, the Missouri Highway Patrol is urging motorists not to linger in the street after an accident. If the car is safe to move, you should pull it onto the shoulder and dial 911 or *55 to reach the Highway Patrol, then remain in the vehicle. If the car is stalled or otherwise unmovable, leave the vehicle in the road and get off to the side as far away as possible.
This death follows several recent deaths in the Missouri area of people assisting disabled vehicles. In August, a tow truck driver was struck while helping a woman on I-35 change a flat tire. In September, a MoDOT worker was killed while providing assistance after an accident on I-70 in Kansas City, Missouri. And in the St. Louis area, a AAA tow truck driver was killed as he prepared to help a woman change a flat tire.
These fatalities underscore the importance of getting vehicles out of the roadway. The longer a vehicle stays disabled and blocks traffic, the greater the likelihood of a pedestrian getting hit or a motorists striking the disabled vehicle. It is truly surprising how often people are injured or killed while changing a tire or waiting for assistance. Approaching vehicles cannot see them in the roadway or they do not see them quickly enough.
So far this year, 1,470 people pedestrians have been struck by vehicles in Missouri, with 128 resulting in fatalities. While not all of these people were struck while attending to a disabled vehicle, at least ten were struck while sitting, standing, or lying in the roadway. Because other motorists tend to gawk or “rubberneck” to see the damage after an accident, they often are not paying attention to others in the roadway. Other vehicles also may speed around the rubberneckers and accidentally strike someone. Either way, it is not safe to be in the road, and people should attempt to get themselves and their car to safety as soon as possible.
It is important to keep this tip in mind, because the moments after a car accident can be very disorienting. As Missouri car crash attorneys, we are all too familiar with how clients feel after an accident. Often, they want to inspect the damage immediately and assume other drivers will see our vehicle in the road. However, drivers can be inattentive or distracted, and this can lead to unfortunate accidents like the ones mentioned above. The first priority after any accident should be your safety and the safety of others on the road.
At The Cagle Law Firm, we want everyone to be safe on the road, and be safe even after an accident. Everyone should heed the advice of these law enforcement officers and make sure they and any other drivers or passengers involved are safe before contacting authorities. There is nothing sadder than having a minor fender bender lead to paralysis, traumatic brain injury, or even a wrongful death as a driver is waiting for police to arrive. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Missouri car accident, call .