On October 9, 2013, Army officer Sean Putnam of Peru, VT was killed when he stopped to help a woman who was changing a flat tire on I-285 West at I-75. Putnam was struck by a vehicle. The pedestrian accident caused a chain-reaction crash involving six vehicles. Putnam was the only fatality.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 16 percent of pedestrian accidents occur on busy highways. Some of these deaths occur when a driver gets out of a stranded vehicle. Others involve good Samaritans who stop to help without thinking of their own safety.
Reasons people get stranded on Atlanta highways:
- Car accidents
- Mechanical problems
- Flat tires
- Running out of gas
- Dead batteries
- Bad weather
- Helping other motorists
If your car becomes stranded on a highway—activate your emergency flashers. Move your vehicle to the right lane and get as far off the road as possible. Stay inside your car and leave your seat belt on. Call 911 and don’t get out unless staying in your vehicle will put you in danger.
If you have to get out of your vehicle, get out on the side that is away from traffic. Move away from the road—don’t stand in front of or behind your car. Your car will roll over you if it is struck. Try to get behind a barrier if possible.
If you stop to help, pull into a safe place away from traffic and call 911. Consider your own safety while helping.
If an accident occurs, the Atlanta car accident lawyers at Kaufman Law would like to help. We are offering every Georgia accident victim a free copy of Hurt in Georgia: An Injury Attorney's Thoughts on Car Wrecks. This book will tell you about your rights and help you protect your accident claim. Use the link at the top of the page to request your copy.