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Crashes With Stopped or Disabled Vehicles Cause Injury & Death

Red triangle and a disabled/broken car on the side of the road

A car accident lawyer in New Hampshire explains what you need to know

Vehicles stopped alongside the road are often involved in serious car accidents, according to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) about crashes involving stopped/disabled vehicles on the side of the road, including ambulances, police cruisers, and road maintenance vehicles.

Each year, an average of 566 people are killed and 14,371 people are injured nationwide in crashes involving vehicles on the side of the road. Impact Research conducted the study for IIHS and analyzed accident data from 2016 to 2018.

Researchers also found that people working on, returning, or leaving a broken-down vehicle often sustained serious injuries or died in crashes caused by other motorists. Specifically, an additional 300 pedestrians died each year on average in such accidents, an increase of 25 percent since 2014.

“This study identifies a part of the road safety equation that doesn’t get much attention, despite the size of the problem,” David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer at IIHS, said in a statement.

How can disabled-vehicle crashes be prevented?

Drivers who aren't being attentive are always going to be a risk to other motorists on the side of the road, but researchers and IIHS officials have identified a few possible solutions to help combat the problem. Some of the safety measures include:

  • Having an additional emergency vehicle respond to a vehicle that's disabled alongside the road. This way, the second emergency vehicle can serve as a barrier and protect people working on a broken down vehicle from being hit.
  • Improved autonomous driving features that automatically redirect a moving vehicle away from a parked one.
  • Wireless communication devices between vehicles that alert drivers to stopped vehicles parked alongside the road.

Talk to a car accident attorney if you've been injured

The financial toll of any serious car accident involving a disabled vehicle can be staggering. According to the recent IIHS study, stopped-vehicle crashes cost people more than $8.8 billion each year in medical bills, replacement income if injured drivers or pedestrians cannot work, vehicle repair or replacement costs, and other accident-related expenses.

Auto insurance companies know this. That’s why they will do everything they can to reduce or deny accident claims filed by injury victims. Fortunately, you don’t have to accept an insurance company’s lowball settlement offer or their refusal to pay for your losses. When you have an experienced law firm on your side, you can fight back.

Our attorneys have been fighting for the rights of injury victims in New Hampshire for more than 150 years. Founded in 1870, our law firm understands how the legal system works and what needs to be done to build a strong, successful case.

Discover what we can do for you and contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced New Hampshire car accident lawyer. We have offices conveniently located in Dover and Portsmouth.

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