How to Clear Debris From the Highway

Following up on a motorcycle accident that occurred several weeks ago, we contacted the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) and asked them what the proper procedure is for removing debris from off of a road or highway. We received the following guidelines from Sergeant Matt Spillman of the UHP and wanted to share them with the public:

“Obviously we hope that motorists will secure their loads and not lose anything in the first place, but if they do find themselves in that situation, there are a few tips to help keep them safe.

– First and foremost, do not leave.  Taking responsibility for the situation and the resulting consequences is simply the right thing to do.  If it does cause damage to other vehicles, you are liable.  If you leave the scene knowing full well that damage has been caused, you are simply leaving the scene of an accident and can be charged criminally.

– When you do stop, make sure that it is done safely and in a safe area.  Do not stop in the travel lane.  Pull over into an emergency lane and stay where you are.  It is also illegal to back up on a freeway, so don’t try to back up to the dropped object.

– Once stopped, call 911.  This is the quickest means to notify troopers of the hazard.  Hopefully they can respond quickly enough to remove the object safely before damage or injury to others takes place.

– Do not try to retrieve the object yourself.  This is a great way to make a bad situation worse.  Troopers do this everyday and know how to do it safely.  It most often includes a second trooper that slows traffic down prior to the hazard, creating a safe break in traffic for the object to be retrieved.

– Once the object is removed by the troopers, they will respond to your location and take care of it from there.  They will likely make arrangements for you to retrieve the object, if there is anything left of it.”

Fewer accidents will occur if motorists heed the guidelines provided above. Remember to not exacerbate the situation by trying to retrieve the goods yourself! Let the professionals do what they are trained to do.

The professionals at the Christensen & Hymas are skilled in handling the repercussions of fatal accidents, so if a loved one is unfortunately killed in such an accident, contact the attorneys that promise service with compassion and integrity. Call today at (801) 506-0800.

Image courtesy of: Flickr user Richard Smith 

Ken Christensen
Partner, Founder at Christensen & Hymas
Ken Christensen is the founding partner of Christensen & Hymas. He is an avid cyclist, loves baseball, and enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors.


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