Most of the trucks that stop on interstate shoulders are not there for emergencies. They're stopping for convienience. Team drivers changing shifts, drivers using the bathroom, drivers taking breaks, etc.... You get the idea. And when trucks are on the shoulder while interstate traffic travels at highway speeds only a few feet away - bad things happen. The story of a motorist who hit a parked truck at highway speeds a few years ago in Wyoming has been in the news recently as the lawsuit goes forward. You can read about it here.
Notice the picture above. Short of a real emergency, this is the only way I'll stop on the interstate if I can't make it to a truck stop or rest area. However, I would get farther from the travel lanes and closer to the stop sign. Sometimes a strap will come loose and I will continue driving to an exit if no danger is expected before I fix it. Even if you get a flat tire, your repairman would appreciate you getting to an exit ramp before he repairs it -especially if the repair is on the driver's side. That's only if no damage to the wheel or other parts of the trailer is encountered.
If you're looking for a nice exit ramp with plenty of shoulder room to pull over for a quick stop, here are a few tips to find a good place.
- Recon your exit on Google Maps if possible. You can zoom in and see if it's an exit with a wide shoulder.
- Never take an exit with an "A" or "B" after the number. Those indicate cloverleaf exits that don't allow easy-on and easy-off the interstate.
- Another clue is to look at the other side of the interstate to see what that exit looks like and chances are, your side will look the same. If going east, check out the westbound side.