Hundreds of people are killed and thousands are injured each year in the U.S. in crashes involving stopped or disabled vehicles that may not have stood out enough to alert drivers to the danger they posed, according to a new study.
Using federal crash statistics, transportation data analysis firm Impact Research estimated that 566 people were killed and 14,371 injured each year over 2016-18 in crashes on all types of roads involving a disabled vehicle in which visibility was likely a factor.
“This study identifies a part of the road safety equation that doesn’t get much attention, despite the size of the problem,” says David Zuby, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
To reduce this type of crash, the report suggests; improving hazard lights so they flash brighter and more frequently and are triggered automatically in the event a vehicle is disabled, adjustments to the “move over” laws, and better traffic management practices.
The study was commissioned by enhanced hazard lighting systems, Emergency Safety Solutions.