Car accidents take all shapes. They don't always occur while you're driving. Stopping on the side of the road, or in a shoulder puts both drivers and passengers in a vulnerable position.
The Arizona Republic reports on a vehicle accident in Phoenix on the shoulder of I-10. A commercial vehicle struck a van carrying five children. The children, aged six through fourteen were in a van that had pulled over after some trouble with the van was discovered. Some of them stood outside with the driver while they awaited their uncle, who was called to help. On his way to help, the uncle attempted to cross several lanes of traffic, and struck a commercial vehicle, which then struck the van. The van hit some of the family members standing outside. All five children and the van's driver were hurt and taken to the hospital.
What to do to be safe: 1. Move the vehicle out of traffic. Try to find a hard shoulder to move to. 2. Turn on your emergency flashers, or lift the hood of your car to call attention to your car. Let other drivers on the road know you are having problems 3. Stay inside your car, especially if it's dark out or if there is bad weather. If you absolutely need to leave the vehicle, do it from the side that is not facing traffic. 4. Call the police and/or a roadside assistance company. Make sure the problem is given attention – whether that means the car is towed and taken to a repair shop or just moved to another location. 5. Stay away from moving traffic. It is dangerous to try to call the attention of drivers who pass by. 6. Don't repair the vehicle when it's exposed to traffic. The side of the road isn't the best place to do this.
- Have emergency items in your vehicle like flashlights, blankets, and a first aid kit.
- Also keep extra water for hot climates, particularly for young children.
- Keep tools such as a spare tire and jack and be familiar with how to use them. Make sure that they are in working order.