Hundreds of roadside emergencies occur each and every day throughout the world, whether it’s something minor like a flat tire or something as major as a car crash. Besides remaining calm and not panicking, which is absolutely vital in such a situation, you need to know a couple of things if you are to deal with the situation as quickly and effectively as possible. In an effort to help you, we’ve created this 5-step article with helpful and insightful tips suitable in any emergency situations.
- Get off the road
Immediately after you’ve had a puncture, lost a gear or even had a collision, pull off to the side off the road as safely as possible. If your car is in busy traffic and you can’t pull over, walk to a safer location leaving the car’s hazards on. When parking on the hard shoulder of a busy interstate, always try to exit from the passenger side door. With cars rushing at highway speeds just mere meters next to you, the last thing you want is another accident on your hands. If you’re going to be heading towards the nearest gas station or service on foot, leave a note on the windshield so that the police and roadside assistance services know what’s going on.
Leaving the hazards on is the least you can do in such a situation. If you have flares, a hazard triangle or a warning light, use it at your disposal to alert other road users of your vehicle’s presence. Place the warning market as far behind your car as possible as to give other motorists a chance to react to the situation. Ideally you want to leave at least 200 feet of room between the hazard warning and your vehicle.
- Distress signal
If you need assistance from the police, call 911 as soon as possible and remain put. If possible, raise the hood and leave it like that, or at the very least tie a white cloth to the radio antenna or the door handle. It will signal the authorities and any motorists passing by that you require urgent assistance.
- Keep all doors locked
If you’re in a safe area, keep all the doors locked and the hazards on. Just because you’re out of harm’s way from any vehicles doesn’t mean you’re necessarily in the clear. Keep the doors locked and the safety belts fastened until the proper authorities arrive.
- Be wary
Last but not least, keep one eye open at all times. Use your judgment and instincts when accepting help from strangers. Most people are genuinely trying to help you in such a situation, but if you’re suspicious of someone don’t leave your car or unlock the doors. Just lower the window enough so that you’re able to communicate. If you’re already waiting on help, tell them that you’re fine or ask them to call someone for you if you haven’t contacted services already.
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