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Passing on Highway Shoulders

road's shoulder

Every driver feels a level of anxiety and frustration while encountering negligent actions of another driver. One major frustration occurs when you are sitting in traffic and see another driver illegally use the road’s shoulder. Illegal shoulder use occurs even in the absence of a traffic jam, such as when an impatient driver indignantly uses the shoulder to pass another vehicle that is moving too slowly.  When a driver selfishly travels on the road’s shoulder, they are putting themselves and others at risk. Their inconsiderate behavior has the potential to cause a very dangerous car accident.

Hazards of Using the Shoulder

Some hazardous scenarios that may come from the unauthorized use of the shoulder include:

Blocking emergency vehicles: The shoulder should be left available for the use of emergency vehicles. If the traffic hold-up has been caused by an accident ahead, there is a good chance that emergency responders will need to use the shoulder to travel to the scene. If traffic is at a standstill, you may not be able to get out of the way of rescue crews.

Crashing into a pulled over vehicle: Since the shoulder is intended to be used for emergency situations, using it for your own purposes introduces the possibility that you could crash into a vehicle that pulled off the road for safety.

Striking a pedestrian: If a person is walking on the roadside shoulder because of a broken-down car or using the shoulder to deal with an emergency, they are extremely vulnerable. Unfortunately, it happens too often that a person is killed on the shoulder of the road.

Causing confusion: Drivers generally have a reasonable expectation that other drivers will behave predictably on the road. Most notably, drivers expect that others will abide by traffic rules and norms. When a driver passes on the shoulder, it can be jarring for other drivers and cause an accident.

Inciting road rage: Nearby drivers who see someone using the shoulder to get around traffic have been known to react in unsafe ways. A driver frustrated by the traffic or angered by another driver’s behavior may have no patience for someone illegally using the shoulder to pass them. The frustrated driver may impulsively attempt to block their way. Such collective recklessness can cause serious accidents.

Avoid Using the Shoulder

Even if a driver successfully uses the shoulder to bypass traffic, an accident can still occur while trying to re-enter the road. Sometimes, the cause is the layout of the road itself. Other times, the attitudes of other drivers contribute to the accident. In any case, the risks of re-entering can be avoided by staying off the shoulder in the first place.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Victims Injured by Negligent Drivers

A driver that skirts traffic laws puts others in danger. If you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s dangerous behavior, discuss your case with a Delaware car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We can help you receive compensation for your accident. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 302-888-1221 or contact us online. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including Dover, Newark, and Middletown.