When driving in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, you may get into a situation when you need to pull to the side of the road. Unfortunately, the roadside is not the safest place for stopping your vehicle, as evident from statistics indicating that there are thousands of shoulder of road accidents in Pennsylvania and all across the U.S. each year,” says our Pittsburgh shoulder of road accident attorney at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman.

Motorists pull off of the road for a variety of reasons, but the most common reasons for pulling over to the side include:

  • Tire blowout
  • Engine or braking system issues
  • Other issues with the vehicle
  • Running out of fuel
  • Crying child inside the vehicle or other distraction that requires the driver’s immediate and undivided attention, and
  • Bad weather.


Most drivers will have to pull onto the shoulder of the road at least once in their life. There are many types of emergency situations that require the driver to stop driving and pull to the side of the road. However, vehicles parked on the shoulder of the road create the risk of roadside car crashes.

As you may have noticed when passing roadside vehicles, there is an increased risk of colliding with a vehicle parked on the shoulder of the road, especially when the parked vehicle is blocking your lane. You are equally at risk of suffering injury both when inside the vehicle parked on the road shoulder and when passing a vehicle parked on the should of the road.

“Under Pennsylvania law, motorists are prohibited from pulling onto the shoulder of the road unless there is an emergency situation and the driver has no alternative option available,” reminds our experienced road shoulder accident attorney in Pittsburgh.


While causes of the shoulder of road accidents may vary from one case to another, it can be very difficult to determine liability for this type of car accident and seek compensation for your damages and losses.

A large percentage of roadside crashes are caused by the driver’s failure to fully remove his or her car from the lanes of the road. It may also be difficult for drivers in passing vehicles to comprehend that the parked vehicle is actually on the shoulder of the road rather than traveling in another lane. There is an even higher likelihood of getting into a shoulder of a road accident when the roadside vehicle has its light off and it’s either night or the weather conditions make it difficult to see the vehicle from a distance.

Regardless of whether you are the driver who crashed into a roadside vehicle or are the driver of the vehicle pulled onto the shoulder of the road, determining liability and proving that the other party was at fault may not be easy. When it comes to establishing fault in a shoulder of a road accident, a car accident lawyer will consider the following factors:

  • Where the parked vehicle was located (whether the vehicle blocked lanes of traffic)
  • Why the motorist decided to pull off the road (whether there was an alternative option)
  • Whether the driver of the parked vehicle had his or her lights on
  • The time of day
  • Weather conditions, and
  • Why the driver of the passing vehicle crashed into the roadside vehicle.

You may want to speak to a Pittsburgh road shoulder accident lawyer from Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman to determine fault in your particular case. Call our offices at 888-988-9467 for a free case evaluation.

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