Illinois State Police (ISP) officials are reminding motorists of the dangers of getting out of your car after you have been involved in a crash or stranded on the roadway. Three pedestrian fatalities have occurred on Illinois roadways within the last week. The Governors Highway Safety Association reported the number of pedestrian fatalities in 2017 was at a 25-year high.
The ISP suggests the following if you are involved in a crash or find yourself stranded on the roadway.
· You should resist the urge to immediately exit the vehicle. Generally, the safest place is in your vehicle with the seatbelt on.
· If your vehicle is in a lane of traffic and you can safely move it, please do so.
· Call 911 to report the crash before you call home or your insurance company.
· If you must exit the vehicle, move off the roadway and keep your eyes on traffic. Do not try to direct traffic nor step in front of traffic to try to wave down help.
Motorists can help prevent pedestrian related crashes by reducing speed, moving to an alternate lane, and being aware of their surroundings. Please remember, effective January 1, 2017, Scott’s Law, also known as the Move Over Law, was expanded to require motorists to Mover Over for all stationery vehicles. The Move Over Law is intended to protect all of us. Drivers must always remain alert and remember that stranded motorists and pedestrians may be on the roads.
Three out of four interstate pedestrian fatalities occur after dark. In many cases, drivers do not see the pedestrian until it is too late, and there is no time to react or apply the brakes. Most pedestrian related fatal crashes involve a pedestrian running in front of a vehicle or crossing the roadway.
Motorists should also consider calling 911 when they see what could be a crashed vehicle alongside the roadway. Do not assume that the vehicle has been reported and checked.