Despite all the modern advancements in technology that allow new cars to be amazingly fuel efficient without sacrificing performance or safety, there’s a lot that can go wrong and leave you stalled in the middle of nowhere. You can take all the preventative measures that currently exist but that won’t prevent a module or sensor just turning off at any given time. As soon as you guide your car as far out of harm’s (and traffic’s) way and off the road as much as possible, you need to be careful with your next few actions and do everything you can to prevent a rear collision. Here are some crucial tips you can follow before calling your preferred roadside assistance provider or car insurance company for help.
Put on the Emergency Lights
Start by switching on your car’s emergency lights. This is usually controlled by a small button located near your headlight controls or below your steering wheel. These lights make your vehicle more visible and help alert any police officers or other public safety officers in the area that you need help. It’s rare that your emergency lights won’t work, but it’s possible they’ll fail to start if you stalled out due to a completely dead battery or a serious electrical fault. If you can’t get your emergency lights to work, try switching on your headlights and engaging your brakes to light up the rear lights. If nothing is lighting up, let roadside assistance know so they can warn the tow truck driver or other responder to watch out for your vehicle.
Set Up Reflective Signals
Whether you can get your signal lights working or not, you should set up ground reflectors to catch the headlights of oncoming cars. These reflectors work during both the day and night, offering more visibility than your hazard lights alone when it’s bright outside. Most reflective hazard signal sets consist of small orange and yellow triangles that prop themselves up. Carrying these kinds of reflectors should be as common as carrying liability insurance, but many drivers never think of them until they’re already stalled out.
Stay Away from the Road
Don’t go into the road to retrieve parts of a damaged vehicle, to set up reflectors, or to flag down help. Stay as far away from the roadside as possible while setting up any external warning signs so that drivers who swerve to avoid your vehicle don’t accidentally hit you instead. Don’t try to work under the hood or assess damage to your car from a collision unless you’re far away from the roadside and the threat of traffic.
It’s tempting to try to push your vehicle out of traffic when you’re stuck in a lane or partially out of one. However, it’s too risky and could result in death. Comprehensive insurance can replace your car but it can’t replace you, so wait it out no matter how many people honk or yell at you to get out of the way.
Remain Inside the Vehicle
Once you’ve set up any reflectors outside of the vehicle, get in the driver’s seat and fasten your seat belt. Get out the paperwork for your insurance policy and roadside assistance and wait for help. You need to stay fastened into your seat in case of a rear or side collision. Using the safety belt gives you the best chance of minimizing injury.