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Tips for Staying Safe if You Experience Vehicle Trouble on the Highway

Experiencing vehicle trouble on the highway can be a nerve-wracking and potentially dangerous situation. Whether it’s a flat tire, engine failure, or any other unexpected issue, knowing how to stay safe requires quick thinking, a calm demeanor, and taking the right set of actions to ensure your safety and that of other motorists.

Understanding and adhering to a few key guidelines can mitigate the risks associated with a vehicle breakdown on the highway. If an accident does occur, contact an Appleton car accident attorney to help you with your case.

Steps to Take if You Experience Highway Vehicle Trouble

Sudden changes in handling, unusual sounds, warning lights, smoke, or unusual smells can all indicate a problem while driving. If your car shows any signs of trouble, act promptly and do not ignore these signs.

By remaining calm, assessing the situation, and taking proactive measures, you can minimize risks and ensure your well-being while waiting for assistance.

  • Pull over safely: If your vehicle starts to show signs of trouble, your priority should be to get to the shoulder or side of the road safely. Use your turn signals to indicate your intention to other drivers and reduce your speed. Try to pull over as far away from the traffic as possible, ideally on a straight section of the road where other drivers can see you.
  • Stay inside your vehicle: If you can’t move your vehicle off the road, it’s generally safest to stay inside your car with your seatbelt on. Cars have various safety features, such as side airbags, to protect drivers and passengers while parked. Keeping your seatbelt will provide better protection in case another car hits your vehicle.
  • Use your hazard lights: As soon as you realize you’re having vehicle trouble, turn on your hazard lights. This alerts other drivers that your vehicle is in distress and to proceed around you with caution.
  • Use safety equipment: If you have safety equipment like flares or reflective triangles, use them. They can help make your vehicle more visible, reducing the risk of an accident.
  • Avoid doing repairs yourself: While your instinct may be to try fixing the problem yourself, the side of a highway is dangerous, especially when you’re next to traffic. Changing a tire or performing other vehicle work exposes you to the risk of being struck by a passing vehicle. A study found an average of 566 people were killed, and 15,431 people sustained injuries in accidents involving disabled vehicles annually between 2016 and 2018. 
  • Know your location: Take note of your surroundings and be aware of your location on the highway. Look for the nearest highway signs and road markers for important reference points. This information can be helpful when communicating with emergency services and tow truck companies.
  • Call for emergency roadside assistance: Rather than dealing with the issue yourself, call for professional help. This might mean roadside assistance if you have a membership with a service like AAA, or it could mean calling a tow truck.

If you’re in a dangerous situation – such as being stuck in a lane of traffic, call the non-emergency police line or state troopers – they can provide assistance or arrange for a tow.

  • Communicate with others: If you are on your way to visit someone or for an appointment, contact them and let them know what occurred. If someone stops to offer assistance, remain inside your locked vehicle and don’t open the windows and doors. Be cautious about sharing personal information with strangers, and trust your intuition when interacting with them.
  • Stay patient and alert: Focus on staying composed and managing your emotions, which can help you think clearly and make better decisions. Additionally, remain alert to your surroundings at all times. Monitor traffic conditions, watch for approaching vehicles, and be aware of potential hazards.

Get Legal Help if You Get into a Car Accident

Prioritizing your safety is essential when your car experiences trouble on a busy highway. If you are in a situation where you’ve experienced an accident or injury on the highway, seeking legal help is crucial to protecting your rights and navigating the complex legal process.

Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers are dedicated to helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Our recent verdicts include $1.5 million for a motorcycle accident and $350,000 for a drunk driving accident. 

Contact us today to book your free consultation and learn your next steps.

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