Thursday, January 7, 2010

If you're in a minor accident, get off the main road and stay in your car

A very tragic accident happened a few days ago on the other side of the state line in which a man who had been involved in a car wreck got out of his car to survey the damage on Interstate 635. When he saw another out-of-control car coming toward him, he jumped over the barrier onto what he thought was level ground but instead fell to his death.

This is an unfortunate reminder about the dangers that can follow minor car crashes. Each year, people are killed in secondary collisions as they stand in the road after a minor accident. If you are involved in a minor accident on a highway, please pull off on the nearest exit before exchanging information or waiting for police. Likewise, if you are involved in a minor accident on a main thoroughfare street, move your vehicle to the side of the roadway or pull off on the nearest side-street or parking lot. And please stay in your car. You are safer there than you are standing on the side of the road. This is especially true in bad weather.
We recently gave a Purple Heart to an officer who was working an accident on icy roads and was seriously injured when she was hit by someone who lost control of his car. Ironically, she was hit while trying to tell victims of a prior accident to stay in their car.

MODOT and City crews are doing their best to clear the roads, but with wind and frigid cold, we all - including police - need to be especially careful.

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