Truckers And Other Unsung Heroes That Keep America Moving
Being prepared for any possibility is dire when faced with a highway breakdown. And while every situation is different, that doesn’t mean it’s unique.
The first thing to take into account when dealing with a highway breakdown is understanding the circumstances once the vehicle comes to a complete stop. Freeways in urban areas obviously differ greatly from countryside roads, and each presents its own set of challenges and resolutions.
In any vehicle breakdown situation, the first thing every driver should do is turn on the hazard lights and pull onto the shoulder if it’s possible to do so in a safe manner, thus greatly reducing the threat of passing vehicles.
Once the vehicle is off the road and is safely on the shoulder, the driver should attempt to make the vehicle more visible. Turn on the dome light and leave the headlights on as well, then, if the vehicle has an emergency kit, place reflective triangles or flares at a safe distance behind the vehicle.
Only exit the vehicle if you are in a low traffic area. On freeways or busy highways, it is recommended to stay in inside the vehicle until roadside assistance arrives. Exiting or standing around greatly increases the risk of injury or death.
Vehicle Breakdown Tips for Highways and Freeways
If a driver is stranded because of a vehicle breakdown on a highway or freeway, here are five tips to help:
Get Off the Road
Even if the vehicle’s emergency hazard lights are activated, other drivers may not be paying close enough attention and could easily rear-end a disabled fleet vehicle, causing further damage or injury.
Do Not Try to Fix the Problem
The driver should never attempt to fix the vehicle, even if it appears it’s going to be a quick or easy fix. Wait for roadside assistance to arrive.
Stay in the Vehicle
Only exit the vehicle if it is absolutely necessary or is a safe option. If possible, lift the hood of the vehicle to alert passing authorities that the vehicle is disabled and that assistance is required.
Patience is key in vehicle breakdown situations, especially in heavily trafficked urban areas. Freeway and highways are regularly patrolled by police and roadside assistance vehicles, so help is on its way!
Make sure to keep the fleet accident policy and roadside assistance documents in the vehicle at all times.