Highways are dangerous places for someone to be outside of their vehicle. The odds of being struck and killed by highway traffic are significantly increased compared to the risks of being struck and killed by a vehicle abutting or crossing pedestrian thoroughfares. That is why pedestrians are forbidden to walk along most major freeways and highways in the United States.
Most frequently, vehicle occupants exit their vehicles on highways at and about the “shoulder” areas abutting either side of the highway. Common reasons vehicle occupants exit their vehicles in this fashion include: illness, vehicle breakdowns and/or accidents. In many instances, exiting a vehicle and walking at or about a highway precipitates what can be a severe vehicular/pedestrian accident with very significant injuries (mostly due to the high rate of speed vehicles typically travel on highways).
A recent truck accident in Bernards Township, New Jersey illustrated the dangers of leaving your vehicle on a busy road. The accident happened at Exit 26 on I-287 when a pick-up truck hauling cattle stopped alongside the road to conduct repairs. The pick-up truck was then struck by another vehicle driven by a 23-year old Hillsborough, New Jersey man. When the Hillsborough man stepped out of his vehicle to examine the extent of the damage, he was hit by a third vehicle, a van carrying 12 passengers. The Hillsborough man and two van occupants died at the scene. The pick-up truck driver and the rest of the van’s passengers suffered only minor injuries.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured in an accident, contact Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari today to discuss your legal options.
You can reach us at (973) 635-5400.