Shoulder of the Road Accidents

shoulder of road accident

Shoulder of the road accidents are not thought about by many drivers.  They seem unlikely to happen and not worth the time to consider.  But in reality, they are very serious accidents that account for a large percentage of automobile fatalities every year.  

Accidents involving the shoulder of the road can happen on any type of road and can involve any type of vehicle.  In Phoenix, these collisions are common on the heavily used freeways, interstates, and highways and are regularly seen in the summer months.  Brutal weather and scorching temperatures can lead to mechanical issues with a car which may require a driver to pull over and stop on the side of a road.  Stopping on a shoulder is one of the most common events to precede a shoulder accident in Arizona.

Experts caution that if you need to stop your vehicle while driving and you are unable to exit the highway, you should be sure to pull over so that the entirety of your vehicle is completely off of the driving surface of the road.  Leaving even a portion of the vehicle in a lane designated for through traffic may result in another car coming upon your vehicle and colliding with it, potentially injuring you and those in the other vehicle.

It is also recommended that all drivers who must stop use their emergency hazard lights to warn other drivers that they are stopped and not traveling.  Hazards can be seen in both daylight and during the night hours and are a warning to all others in the area that you are experiencing vehicular problems.  If you need to exit your vehicle, consider doing so on the side of the vehicle furthest from traffic i.e. the passenger side if you are pulled over on the right shoulder.  If you must exit from the side nearest to traffic, do not do so when oncoming traffic is present.  Rather, wait until traffic is clear, exit your vehicle, and move to a safe location. 

Liability in a Shoulder of the Road Accident

It can be difficult to determine who is at-fault for a shoulder of the road collision.  Investigators will attempt to determine if a stopped vehicle was fully removed from the road or if it was impeding traffic.  They will also attempt to determine if the other driver involved stayed completely within a designated lane or whether that driver crossed the outside lane marker and traveled on the shoulder.  In the event that a moving car and a stopped car collide on the shoulder, either driver, both drivers, or neither driver may be at fault.  Speaking with an injury lawyer is the best way to determine your legal rights after an accident including whether you are entitled to bring a claim for your injuries against an at-fault driver. 

In most cases, if a driver is unable to completely remove a vehicle from a lane of traffic or if the driver just fails to do so, it may be the driver of the stopped car that is responsible for the collision.  This may also be the case if the driver fails to take appropriate actions like using hazard lights or stopping in the road when the driver could have pulled into a parking lot or taken an exit off a highway. 

Conversely, if the driver of a moving vehicle comes upon a stopped car and causes a crash, that driver may be responsible.  In some cases, the moving vehicle's driver may be distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash.  In other cases, the driver may not be paying attention to the road or to traffic and may not notice a car stopped on the shoulder.  If any of these or other factors are present, the moving vehicle's driver may be liable. 

Other Types of Shoulder Accidents

Shoulder of the road accidents do not just happen on highways and freeways.  Rather, they can happen on any road and they can involve another car, a motorcyclist, a bicyclist, or even a pedestrian. 

If a collision between multiple individuals or an individual and a fixed object occurs and the impact is at or near the shoulder of the road, it may be properly called a shoulder of the road accident.  This means that a turning car that fails to look for bicycle or pedestrian traffic and causes a collision on the shoulder may be liable for the crash.  It can also mean that a driver that drifts into a marked bicycle lane and strikes a rider can be held responsible.  The facts of each accident determine who is to blame and whether a civil claim is possible.

Legal Relief for Accident Victims


After an accident, it may seem like no one is on your side and no one wants to help you get the relief you need and deserve.  At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are here to tell you that is not the case.  We believe strongly that every accident victim deserves to have his or her rights protected and enforced and that is why we only represent the victims of accidents and never those that cause the collisions.  We offer a free case consultation to all those injured who call us at (855) PHX-LAWYER and we never take a fee from a client unless we make a recovery on that client's behalf.

If a collision has left you with injuries and you do not know where to turn, call us today and let us help you.  We are standing by 24 hours a day to take your call whenever you need answers and there is no obligation on your part for speaking with us.  At Abels & Annes, P.C., we want to help you get the best possible outcome in your case and we are waiting now to speak with you.  Do not let yourself continue to suffer at the hands of a negligent driver - call us today and let us fight for you.

If you have been injured in an accident on the shoulder of a road, call us at (855) PHX-LAWYER or Contact Us online for a free case consultation. 
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