Sometimes, those who stop to help others who have been involved in collisions are putting themselves at risk, too. Take for example this report out of Hartford. The State Police reported that the man was attempting to help a stranded motorist when he was struck and killed.
According to the news report from July 7, the 62-year-old man was on Interstate-84 attempting to help a motorist who had been stranded on the left side of the highway. The man, a good Samaritan, had also pulled over his vehicle near Exit 28. He was standing in the east lane attempting to assist the driver when a 2015 Nissan Altima collided with him. It’s not clear why the 27-year-old had not moved over or noticed the man assisting the disabled vehicle.
Drivers must pay attention on the highway
Drivers who are traveling on the highway may not expect to see people in the roadway, but this is why they have to pay attention. If there is a disabled vehicle in one of the shoulders or lanes, drivers should pull over into a different lane to give the vehicle and anyone there more space to work or get help.
If drivers can’t move over into another lane, then they should slow down enough to be able to stop if there is a sudden hazard, such as if someone walks into the lane ahead of them.
While the “move over” laws apply to emergency vehicles, it’s reasonable to expect people to do the same if vehicles are disabled with hazard lights on or if there appears to be a hazard up ahead. If they are distracted and hit the disabled vehicle or anyone helping the victims, then they could be held liable for that person’s wrongful death.