Emergencies can’t be foreseen, so there’s no way to know when you could be forced to deal with an emergency roadside stop. However, knowing how to react is key in handling the situation in the safest way possible. Up next, we will go through some of the main things you need to know when you have an emergency on the road.
You should always keep an emergency kit inside your vehicle. While pre-made kits can be easily found, you can also put together your own, tailoring it to the type of weather in your area and any other situations you think you should be prepared for. Some of the items to include in your emergency kit are:
If the emergency happens when you’re driving, remember to stay calm, turn on your car’s emergency signal and get off the road as soon as safely possible.
Once you’re off of the road, shift into park, set the parking brake and leave the emergency signal activated. Remember to turn off the engine and remove the keys and make sure your vehicle is in a safe location.
Whenever possible, leave the roadway and pull into a rest area or parking lot. If you’re only able to stop under a streetlight or on the shoulder, then do so, but never stop on curves or corners, at the bottom of a hill or on a narrow road. Also, be sure to avoid the left shoulder of a highway if possible, since this is the most dangerous place to be.
When performing an emergency roadside stop it’s important to remain as visible as possible. Raise the hood, put on your emergency vest and take out your safety cones if you have them. Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights and keep the lights on while you call for assistance.
If you’re staying inside your vehicle, keep your doors locked and your seatbelt on. If you exit, remain as far away from traffic as possible and exercise good judgement when accepting help from strangers. Never stand “in front or behind” the vehicle when it is stranded or while waiting for help.
Call for help as soon as possible if the issue isn’t something you can’t fix on your own. Roadside assistance services are a tremendous help. Most vehicle insurance companies provide a roadside service for a small fee.
If you’re not covered by a roadside assistance service, find a local tow company or contact the police department, as they will be able to locate one for you. If it’s an actual emergency, you can always call 911.
When handling an emergency roadside stop the best thing you can do is be prepared and aware. Hopefully, these tips will help you come out of it unscathed.