Whether it’s a flat tire, mechanical failure, or an empty fuel tank, eventually, all drivers can expect to end up on the roadside waiting for help. But what do you do? Send up a flare? Here are some roadside safety tips to follow the next time your vehicle makes an unscheduled and unwelcome pit-stop and you find yourself waiting for a tow.
You may have heard the adage “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” This is especially true concerning roadside safety. If you don’t have an emergency kit in your vehicle, you need to get one. The contents should include, but not be limited to, a first aid kit, emergency triangles or cones, a flashlight, neon safety vest, gloves, and a phone charger. It’s also wise to check your spare tire often to make sure it’s ready to go in case you get a flat tire.
Get Off The Roadway
Unless you are in a major accident, move your vehicle as far from traffic as possible. This is not only a safety issue, but in most places, it’s the law. You will probably need to exit the vehicle eventually, so make sure it’s in a safe place to do so. If you are unable to move your vehicle from the roadway, turn on your emergency flashers and call for help immediately.
Emergency Indicators and Triangles
In short, use them. Turn your emergency indicators on (FMCSR 392.22 and 392.25), and set triangles or cones at intervals behind your vehicle. The first triangle should be placed roughly 10 feet behind the vehicle on the traffic side. The second triangle should be placed 50 feet behind the first. The last one should be 150 feet or so beyond that. This step gives other motorists warning, and it comes in handy in cases where your lights won’t work.
Assess the Situation
This step requires some sound judgment. If you have a flat tire, get off the road and get it fixed. If you have a more serious mechanical issue, it’s time to call a professional roadside service provider. If you see smoke or flames, exit your vehicle, get to a safe distance, and call emergency services.
Stay In Your Vehicle
Unless it’s on fire, the safest place for you to be is inside your vehicle. Don’t get out of your car in traffic. Modern vehicles are equipped with advanced safety features to help mitigate injury; your body not so much. If you do get out for any reason (nature may call after all), move away from the roadway. Never stand or sit in front of or behind your vehicle. Do not leave children or pets unattended. The inside of a car can also become extremely hot in the summer. Again, if you must exit the vehicle, move away from the roadway.
Call the Calvary
Once you and your vehicle are safely out of harm’s way, it’s time to call the professionals. Make sure to contact a reputable and trustworthy towing company. Not all such companies are created equal. Unfortunately, the more disreputable businesses have been known to hold vehicles “hostage” to collect exorbitant fees.
Check with your insurance company to find out if they provide roadside safety services. It’s usually cheap and can help you avoid being taken advantage of.
This list of roadside safety tips can help keep you and your family safe in the event of a breakdown or accident. Sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow can be the pits. Contact us at Epilitos Towing when you need help. Also, if you have more ideas for keeping our friends and loved ones safe on the road, let us know. It would be great to hear from you. You might also want to add a deck of cards or some MadLibs to that emergency kit because if you didn’t call us for that tow, you might be waiting a while.