Being stranded on the side of the road with a broken-down vehicle is a stressful event. When motorists fail to take proper precautions, interactions with disabled vehicles may change from inconveniences to tragedies.
It is important to know what your duties are to prevent accidents involving disabled vehicles.
Steps to take when your vehicle breaks down
There are several steps to take to ensure the safety of yourself and other motorists when your vehicle breaks down:
- Turn on your hazard lights
- Reduce your speed and drive your vehicle as far off the road as you can
- Turn the steering wheel to angle your tires away from the road and engage your emergency brake
- Remain in your vehicle
- Make sure other drivers can see you
- Place triangles or flares behind your car
Once you have taken these steps, contact a tow truck or roadside assistance. If you believe you are in a dangerous situation, call 911.
Steps to take when you approach a vehicle on the side of the road
Motorists must be cautious around disabled vehicles and any emergency personnel that may be assisting. Watch for hazards, flares and flashing lights in or near the road as you drive. If you see a disabled or emergency vehicle on the side of the road, slow down as you approach it. This action not only reduces the chance of an accident but keeps you in compliance with Indiana law.
Accidents cause injuries to stranded motorists and emergency personnel more frequently than most people realize. Drivers can avoid most of these accidents by taking safety precautions.