The Dangers of Driving on the Shoulder
When you’re stuck in rush-hour traffic, it can be tempting to bypass all of the congestion by driving on the shoulder. However, doing so is dangerous, and it’s also illegal under most circumstances.
Risks of Driving on the Shoulder
Dangers of driving on the shoulder include:
- Blocking the passage of emergency vehicles. The shoulder of the highway is designed to allow emergency vehicles to pass when there is congestion. If a vehicle is blocking the shoulder when emergency personnel need to get through, they may be delayed or prevented from reaching victims in need of help.
- Collisions. When a driver is traveling on the shoulder, it can be difficult to see a disabled car ahead. A collision may also occur when someone driving on the shoulder strikes another vehicle that suddenly pulls onto the shoulder without warning.
- Road rage. Law-abiding drivers are likely to be annoyed when they see another vehicle disregarding the law and traveling on the shoulder during a traffic jam. These motorists may not be too inclined to allow the driver using the shoulder to merge back into traffic, and may react by moving in front of him, blocking him, or running him off the road completely.
Exceptions to the Law
While driving on the shoulder of the road is generally illegal, there are a few exceptions. In Texas, drivers can use an improved shoulder to the right of the highway in order to:
- Avoid a collision.
- Decelerate prior to turning right.
- Stop, stand, or park.
- Allow another vehicle traveling at a higher speed to pass.
- Accelerate prior to entering the flow of traffic.
- Pass another slowing, stopped, or disabled vehicle.
- Follow directions provided by an official traffic control device.
You Need an Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to an irresponsible driver traveling on the shoulder, you need representation by an experienced personal injury attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.