After hearing of the tragic accident that took the life of a father in front of his children and injured others on Interstate 95 at Willis Road, I felt it important to write this article. As a firefighter that served in fire stations that responded to the interstate, I know the dangers associated with these thoroughfares. The dangers to public servants became so great that many departments, including Chesterfield Fire & EMS, send additional equipment to the interstate to set up as safe a work zone as possible for first responders. The first point that I will make is that most ordinary citizens do not have the ability to set up their own personal block. Therefore, if at all possible, do not use the shoulder of any interstate to make repairs to any vehicle unless absolutely necessary. What am I saying? If you have to drive on the rim of your vehicle, then do so to get off of the interstate. No tire or wheel is worth your life.
Here is a list of do’s and dont’s, concerning the interstates:
The overarching theme of this article is that you must do everything possible to get off of the interstate, when you have a vehicle issue, even if you do a bit more damage to your vehicle in the process. If you must repair your vehicle on the side of the interstate, then you must know that you and your family are in harm’s way, and you must keep your safety and your family’s safety in mind at all times. Do not assume that a vehicle will not veer onto the shoulder, where your vehicle sits. We have seen enough examples of vehicles striking police cars, emergency vehicles and disabled vehicles, while they are parked on the shoulder of our interstates.