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What to Do If Your Vehicle Breaks Down: Five Steps to Keep You Safe

February 24, 2015 | Category: Automobile Accidents, Tire Failures | Share

When operating a motor vehicle in Florida or elsewhere in the U.S., anything could happen. An accident may occur, a tire could blow out or the vehicle could simply break down. Ft. Myers personal injury lawyer Randall Spivey knows that collisions and break-downs can be very stressful situations, but he wants you to stay as safe as possible when attempting to deal with automobile issues on the roadway.

The following steps, as offered by AAA and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, are provided to give motorists some insight into what they should do if they find themselves on the side of the road due to their vehicle breaking down.

Get Off the Road: Pull Over to the Shoulder

Depending on where you are at the time the vehicle becomes disabled, you should make every effort to pull the vehicle over to a safe portion of roadway (typically to the right), moving as far off the actual roadway as possible while staying on level ground. If you happen to be on a major highway or interstate at the time, you might also consider pulling over to the left shoulder, if it is feasible and safe to do so.

But what if your vehicle won't let you pull off the road and simply stops dead in its tracks? In such cases, you should immediately turn on your emergency flashers. If you feel uncomfortable about your safety if you stay in the vehicle, such that you think it may get hit from behind, get out of the vehicle and move as far away as possible.

Assess the Problem

While driving, pay close attention to vehicle sounds and internal warning signals. If you are faced with a flat tire, it is important for you to remain calm and gradually slow down and pull over to the shoulder, avoiding any sudden moves. If your vehicle runs out of gas, turn on your flashers and steer the vehicle out of traffic, letting its momentum guide you off the road to a safe area. Do not apply the brakes until necessary.

Raise Your Vehicle's Hood

Another important step to take if your vehicle becomes disabled is to alert other motorists by lifting the hood and/or turning on your flashers. Passing vehicles may be traveling at very high rates of speed; therefore, it is crucial they be able to see you from as far away as possible so they will have an opportunity to move over or stop, if necessary. If you have a safety kit containing flares or warning triangles, you should place them in a manner that will direct oncoming traffic away from your automobile.

Call for Help

If you or one of your passengers has a cell phone, use it to call for help. Do not leave the vehicle to make the call if you are safe on the side of the road. Also pay close attention to your surroundings and make note of any landmarks or mile markers so you can properly advise roadside assistance or law enforcement.

Stay With Your Vehicle, If It is Safe to Do So

In most situations, safety experts say if you can pull off the road, away from traffic, it is usually safest for you to stay in your automobile until law enforcement or roadside assistance arrives. Still, it is important for you to remain vigilant and mindful of your surroundings at all times, especially at night.

If you or someone you love would like more information on roadway safety, or if you have been involved in an accident after a vehicle break-down, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. for help today.

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Fort Myers, Florida 33912

(239) 337-7483

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