As you are cruising down the highway jamming out to your favorite tunes, you suddenly here a loud pop, and see smoke. This is the worst case scenario, and you are for sure going to be late for your appointment. This is not great, but it is also very dangerous situation. The side of the road is a dangerous place, you have cars, trucks and vans whizzing past your location and if this is at night, it is only magnified. You need to take the correct precautions to ensure you and your family are going to be safe during a breakdown. With that in mind, here are some great tips on how to stay safe in case you are in a breakdown situation.
- First and foremost, make sure to hold the wheel with two hands, and come to a safe stop on the side of the road.
- Check for any issues such as dark smoke or the smell of burning. If you do see any of these issues, immediately exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so.
- Park your vehicle as far to the right hand side as possible, and if you are near a rest area, try to make it to the parking lot.
- Activate your hazard lights
- Activate your parking lights if the weather is bad, if it is raining, or most importantly if it dark. If you do not have parking lights on your vehicle, instead you can activate your running lights and emergency break.
- Only leave the vehicle if it is safe to do so. When you exit the vehicle ensure that you:
- Check for traffic coming from both ways.
- Leave your vehicle from the passenger side if possible, especially if you are broken down near or on a corner.
- Take your passenger and animals with you
- Stand clear of the road and behind the road barrier to prevent injury in case your car is hit.
- If you need to remain in the vehicle, seat belts should be fastened and where possible, you should sit in the seats furthers from traffic.
- Call for assistance on your mobile phone, if you do not have a mobile phone there will be a roadside assistance phone nearby. Make sure to walk against traffic if possible, and be visible to cars. You will need to know the rough location of your vehicle, and many major highways will have mile markers to make it easier to identify where your vehicle is.
- Avoid crossing the road when possible, especially if it is a divided highway, or interstate.
- Do not work on the vehicle by yourself, you are putting yourself in danger, and without proper safety precautions you are in serious danger of injury or death.
- If you have them, light road flairs or put out reflective cones behind your vehicle.
- If you are in a tunnel, ensure that you have radio switched on, as it will help when talking to people on the phone!
A breakdown is never a good situation, but if you are take some precautions when dealing with this kind of event you will be safe. This is not something to take lightly, but stay calm and ensure you and your passengers are always in a safe position.
If you have any safety tips you would like to add, then include them in the comments below.