High risk due to moving traffic
After a collision on the highway it is important to quickly leave the danger zone in and around the vehicle, but not too hastily. “Everyone must be aware that there is a high risk of being hit by fast moving traffic.” warns DEKRA accident researcher Markus Egelhaaf. It is extremely important that before leaving the vehicle everybody dons a high visibility vest, pays attention to oncoming vehicles and does not blindly run across to the side of the road.
“You should generally leave the vehicle from the side facing away from the moving traffic and then only after you have made sure that the road is clear. Move behind the crash barrier or to a safe distance from the road. Never try to get to the central isle in moving traffic.” emphasizes Egelhaaf. It is also important to make an emergency call as soon as possible and provide rescue services with precise information such as the exact location, including direction of travel, the accident situation and any injured. It is helpful to run against the oncoming traffic behind the crash barrier and make other drivers aware of the accident.
Also, those who have to stop on the highway because of a breakdown are at high risk due to moving traffic. Then it is essential to engage the warning lights, move over to the right and put on a high visibility vests. Then get all occupants to disembark on the side away from the traffic, ensure they make their way to the crash barrier and call the recovery service. Exercising the appropriate caution and set up the warning triangle at a sufficient distance. If the vehicle remains on the road, it is essential to make an emergency call so that the police can cordon off the area if necessary. Egelhaaf: “Never push the vehicle off the road in moving traffic on your own, or change a wheel under tight conditions on the side of the road. This is far too dangerous.”
If you are approaching an accident or a broken-down vehicle on the highway you should “be particularly careful, slow down and, if the traffic conditions allow, keep a lane free between the stricken vehicle and your own car. If help is required at the scene of the accident, everyone is legally obliged to do so,” reminds the DEKRA accident researcher. If moving traffic is endangered by the position of the accident or broken down vehicle, 110 should be called immediately and the situation as well as the precise location of the obstruction reported. A high visibility vest that fits should be available for every occupant inside the vehicle. If children are on board, make sure that new vests are purchased as they grow older.