By Rosie Paul
A couple of weeks ago I took the highway to visit a friend. I was cruising along with 3 lanes of speeding traffic in front of me when suddenly I noticed cars swerving to get out of the middle lane. I knew there must be something in the lane but I couldn’t believe what it was!
A woman was standing behind her car in a live lane of traffic – waving her arms to protect her car from getting hit! Children’s faces were watching from inside the car. I was in shock! It was incredibly dangerous (and foolish) to stop a live lane of traffic – but to get out of the car and stand behind it? That’s crazy!
Why on earth was she outside of her car in the middle of the highway? As I watched, another driver (at full speed) swerved to miss her. If there had been a car in the next lane he would have crashed right into it and that lady would have been killed in the collision.
I don’t know what the problem with her car was. Maybe it was a full electrical failure and it stopped dead. (Unlikely but not impossible.) The safest place for her to be would still have been to stay safely belted into her vehicle. Chances are good that the car was going to get hit. Cars are built to absorb impacts. It would crumple but she and the kids would survive. She would not fare so well if she got hit directly. Clearly she didn’t realise how dangerous her position was.
Unfortunately many people fail to understand the dangers of stopping on the highway. If at all possible, it’s best to get completely off the highway and then pull over to the side of a local road. If a problem occurs on the highway and the car won’t make it any further, put on your emergency flashers and pull as far as possible off the road on the right side (in North America).
NEVER stop your car in any of the lanes on the highway and NEVER step out of the vehicle.