Whether you just need a break, or you unfortunately get a flat tire, at one point or another, you’ll likely need to pull over on the highway or city street. As you can imagine, if you find yourself on the side of the highway it can be an extremely dangerous situation. If it’s not an emergency, you should always wait until you come to a rest stop or other safe zone where you can exit the road far enough to be out of danger from passing or oncoming traffic. If you do however need to pull over immediately, here are some tips you should follow to lessen the chances of getting injured.
Tips To Avoid An Accident
1. Always communicate your intentions to other drivers on the road. One of the most frustrating things is when a driver suddenly swerves into your lane without any warning. Avoid doing this to others. If you’re experiencing an emergency and need to pull over, make sure to utilize your turn signals in order to inform other drivers of your intended actions.
2. If possible, try and make it to the next exit. Often, when individuals experience a flat tire, their first instinct is to immediately stop on the side of the highway to mitigate any further damage. Nonetheless, it is important to weigh the potential costs of additional repairs against the dangerous risks associated with stopping on a highway shoulder.
3. Never pull over on the left side of the road. Generally speaking, the right lane tends to have slower traffic, which can be better in terms of reaction time and visibility. By maintaining a lower speed, you can maximize safety for both yourself and other drivers.
4. Park your vehicle as far from the road as possible. Although this might seem like an obvious step, many people overlook its importance. Regardless of how wide the shoulder may be, always attempt to leave as much space as possible between your vehicle and the main highway.
5. Engage your parking brake. Activating your parking brake will help prevent your car from unintentionally rolling or moving in case another vehicle impacts it. This is especially important if you are using a jack to change a tire.
6. Maintain a position where you can see oncoming traffic. In case another car happens to strike your parked vehicle, it is crucial that you are at a safe distance away from it and can see it coming. Standing a good distance from your car could save your life as high-speed collisions can cause parked vehicles to be pushed dozens or even hundreds of feet.
7. Place road flares and/or put your hood up. Many accidents occur simply because a driver fails to notice someone else has pulled over onto the shoulder. Utilize items such as flags, flares, and other hazard indicators to enhance your visibility, particularly during nighttime hours. If your vehicle still has power, turn on your hazard lights as well.
8. Seek assistance as soon as possible. If you lack the necessary tools to replace a flat tire or jumpstart your vehicle, do not hesitate to contact a towing company. Keep in mind that with each passing minute spent on the shoulder, you are at increased risk. Prioritize safety over concerns about your car or financial situation. Additionally, be mindful of the safety of others who may be stopped on the highway while you are driving; if possible, move over to the next lane in order to give them a wide berth.
Tips To Avoid Breaking Down
The best way to minimize the chances of being in an accident on the side of the highway, is by reducing the likelihood of needing to stop there in the first place. This is particularly relevant during the summer season when people are more likely to take frequent and extended road trips. America’s vast highway systems make it all the more important to be prepared for breakdowns on the side of a busy highway if you neglect basic car maintenance.
1. Check your vehicle’s coolant/antifreeze. One primary reason for a car breaking down on a highway is engine overheating, which can have severe consequences. Maintaining proper coolant/antifreeze levels is crucial to ensuring that your vehicle operates efficiently under various conditions.
2. Check your tire pressure. Tires are critical components of your car, serving as the first layer of defense for both safety and vehicle performance. Worn out or underinflated tires pose significant risks, as they can cause blowouts while traveling down the road.
3. Check your brake fluid and pads. Brake pads are particularly susceptible to damage from extreme temperature changes, from high heat to freezing temperatures. Before heading out onto the highway for an extended period of time, examine your brake pads for signs of crumbling or discoloration. If you hear any sort of “grinding” sound when you apply the brakes, chances are you need new brake pads. Additionally, checking the level and quality of your brake fluid is essential, as worn out brake fluid can lead to reduced performance or even total brake failure.
4. Check your transmission fluid. Cars equipped with an automatic transmission need adequate amounts of automatic transmission fluid. Keep this fluid at the manufacturer-recommended level and maintain its bright red color. Overfilling can cause overpressure problems, while an insufficient amount can damage the torque converter.
5. Check your engine oil. Changing your car’s oil helps keep the car’s internal components lubricated and prevents excessive heat absorption. Proper oil changes significantly reduce the risk of major engine problems.
6. Check for manufacture recalls. Recalls aim to improve safety by addressing any failures that fall short of government-set minimum standards. Manufacturers issue voluntary recalls to ensure that potential safety issues are resolved before they result in severe harm or fatalities due to a defect.
If you’ve been injured by a careless driver while on the side of the road, contact us today.
Named one of the “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Dallas” by Expertise.com, Brian Brunson is Texas personal injury lawyer who is dedicated to helping clients who have suffered a car, truck, or motorcycle injury through the negligent or wrongful conduct of other drivers. In addition, his professionalism is unmatched and his 5-star, A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau and client reviews speak for themselves.
We proudly serve the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and surrounding areas, our office supports the legal needs of a wide variety of clients. Let the Law Office of Brian Brunson be your advocate in your time of need and help you put your life back together. If we can’t win or settle your case, you don’t pay a dime! We know it can be daunting to take that first step after you’ve been hurt. Contact Brian Brunson today via email or call us toll-free at 1-844-41-WRECK. We can help, when no one else will.