You are not immune to personal injury even when not in your car

You have probably read too many horror stories of victims of serious car accidents being ejected from vehicles during severe accidents. Do you realize that you need not be in your auto to suffer serious injury? Even a minor fender-bender can become deadly if you are a good Samaritan stopping to help or simply leave your vehicle to be “safer.”

A recent car accident in Florida emphasizes this point. Two young women had a single-car accident when they inadvertently met a tree with their vehicle. Another 20-something good Samaritan stopped to help the young ladies. Tragically, all three were struck and killed by a passing motorist.

Unfortunately, severe injury or death to those outside of vehicles, particularly involving road construction workers, police officers helping accident victims and drivers/passengers choosing to leave their cars, is becoming more common. Equally tragic, passing motorists involved in these horrific accidents are not always the “usual suspects.” Many motorists causing these serious injuries are not driving while impaired. They simply did not or could not see the victims in the roadways or roadsides.

Florida state police officers offer some potentially life-saving advice to motorists involved in major or minor accidents. They strongly recommend that those with disabled autos–for any reason–survey their surroundings carefully. If you contemplate leaving your vehicle for safety reasons, find other protection, particularly guardrails designed to take hits from moving autos, without breaking.

While you may believe that you are safer from injury by leaving your vehicle, with its steel cage and airbags, you should do so carefully and intelligently. If your accident or breakdown occurs in a dimly lit area or around turns, get well away from the site and find some protection at least equal to that which your vehicle offers.

Source: Sun-Sentinel, “South Florida roads prove dangerous for people not in their cars,” Robert Nolin, Jan. 23, 2012