You never know when an unforeseen event leaves you stranded on the roadside waiting for help. When you have a flat tire or your car malfunctions when you are driving, you will need to pull off to the side of the road immediately for your safety. However, you should heed the following tips to avoid causing an accident.
- Move your car as far away from moving traffic as possible, ideally to the right shoulder. Make sure you are firmly gripping the steering wheel, especially in the case of a blown tire, and try not to slam on the brakes. Ease the car with its natural momentum, use your turn signals if you need to cross lanes and turn on your emergency blinkers.
- Turn your wheels towards the shoulder when you park the car. You want to make sure that the car does not roll back into traffic. Furthermore, if your car gets bumped by another vehicle when parked on the side of the road, it will not move into traffic.
- If you are stuck on a busy road, do not exit your car until you are completely sure you can make it to the shoulder safely. Chances are other drivers will call for the police when they notice your car is disabled so you will not have to wait long if traffic is busy to get out of the vehicle.
- Turn on your emergency flashers, keep your seat belt on and wait for the authorities. Do not walk around the vehicle and risk getting hit. At night, you should also turn on your interior lights so vehicles coming from behind will be able to tell that the car is not moving.
- Keep the number of your state's highway patrol in your mobile phone's contact list. Highway patrol officers can come to your rescue faster when you are stranded on a highway. Many states have special numbers for highway incidents. In addition, keep a number for an emergency tow service like Larry Menz Towing Services Inc in your car.
- Take extra precautions to protect yourself at night. In addition to staying inside your vehicle until the police or an emergency tow service arrives, keep your doors locked and your windows up. If strangers approach your car, do not roll the window all the way down or get out. Crack the window in order to communicate.
- If your car breaks down near stores or places where you can safely take shelter, secure the car and wait in the safe area instead of in the vehicle.