Developed countries motorways are fairly safe: Statistically, most traffic accidents happen off the beaten track. In 2015, only about 6.4 percent of all traffic accidents in Germany happened on motorways.
However, this is due to homogeneous traffic: no mopeds, bicycles, agricultural vehicles or pedestrians are allowed on the motorway. That’s why certain vulnerable groups can’t even be involved in an accident. On the other hand, demarcated oncoming traffic prevents accidents caused by frontal collisions.
Accidents on the highway are comparatively rare. Due to the crazy speeds, however, they are often associated with devastating consequences for those involved especially if the safety distance to the vehicle in front is not maintained. Especially the ends of a traffic jam carry a high risk. Motor accidents are particularly common here because drivers are inattentive and too close up.
If you are involved in a traffic accident on the highway, keep calm. The hustle and bustle can lead to mistakes that, in the worst case, can have fatal consequences for you and other stakeholders. Therefore, follow a crash on the highway and follow a fixed route to minimize the risk. That can save lives.
What to do after a car accident at a Glance:
If your car halts on the motorway due to a breakdown or accident, be sure to alert the incoming traffic. Because every leftover vehicle is a danger for the incoming traffic.
Switch on the hazard warning lights immediately after the accident. If you still have the chance, drive your car to the right lane. So you can get yourself to safety and do not hinder the flowing traffic.
Not always it is possible to drive the car in time on the hard right shoulder. In many accident situations, it halts in the middle of the road, in the fast lane. Save yourself as quickly as possible from the danger zone. Under no circumstances should you stay in the vehicle as this can lead to consequential accidents. Watch the traffic and leave the vehicle in a suitable moment. And always on the side facing away from traffic.
If, as a driver, you have to exit your car to the right-hand side strip, you have to get off the passenger’s door. If you are lying in the fast lane of a multi-lane highway, you may need to leave the vehicle in the direction of the central strip. In that case, all passengers on the side of the driver get off. Do not try to cross the lane. Wait for the roadside assistance or the rescue services. Stay behind the guardrail all the time.
After you have rescued yourself from the danger zone, you must secure the accident site. This is the only way for subsequent drivers to react to the dangerous situation. To do this, remove the warning triangle from the trunk. Depending on the location and situation, place it at a distance of between 150 and 400 meters from the accident site on the motorway. 150 meters correspond to 3 boundary posts.