Roadside emergencies happen to every driver. A flat tire, overheated vehicle, or accident can happen any day — and force you to move your vehicle off the road for repairs or towing. This can be an incredibly dangerous situation, as you’re vulnerable to getting hit by other vehicles while you’re stopped on the side of the road.
Whether you’re performing repairs on your vehicle or waiting for help, it’s important that you take steps to keep yourself safe while you’re on the side of the road. Read on to learn how you can practice roadside safety.
As soon as something starts to feel or look wrong, get off the road ASAP.
TURN ON YOUR HAZARD LIGHTS
Let the other drivers around you know that your car is having issues by turning on your hazards as you pull off to the side of the road.
GET AS FAR OFF THE ROAD AS POSSIBLE
In a best-case scenario, getting off at a rest stop, main street, or an exit of the highway is best. If there are no exits for you to use pull off to the side of the road as far as barriers and safety allow. The goal is for you to be as far out of the way of fast-moving cars as possible.
KEEP EMERGENCY SUPPLIES IN YOUR CAR
Having an emergency kit in your car at all times is really important. This should have everything from a first aid kit, extra food, and water, to tools, duct tape, a spare tire, jumper cables, and more.
CALL ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE
If you have roadside assistance with your insurance, call them right away! Your main priority should be getting you and your car off the road and into a safer environment. PRO TIP: Get Roadside assistance through UG Transportation.
DON’T LEAVE YOUR CAR UNTIL IT’S SAFE
If you’re having a car emergency you might want to get out and take a look quickly. If you’re on the side of the road don’t forget that you’re in traffic. Wait until there is a big enough break in traffic before you exit your vehicle. Better yet, if it is possible to get out on your passenger side that may be the safer option.
BE CAUTIOUS IN ACCEPTING HELP FROM STRANGERS
Most people are probably well-intentioned when they see someone pulled off having car troubles. However, you want to be cautious and keep yourself safe when people approach your vehicle. Keep your doors locked and only roll your window down enough to speak. Use your best judgment but we recommend you call a professional or trusted family or friends.
KNOW WHEN TO CALL A PROFESSIONAL
Some vehicle owners can handle quick roadside repairs unaided, but even the most experienced end up in the dangerous territory. Know when it's smart to ask for help. While you can handle a tire change in a parking lot, it's not a good idea to try to do the same while on the shoulder of the highway. Use your best judgment.