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Friday, February 12, 2010

Vehicle Break Downs on the Highway

Breaking down on the highway can be a scary thought, but it can happen to all of us, so if it ever happens to you, it's important that you know exactly what to do. Highway shoulders are only for emergency use and you should only stop on them if you have no other choice, if possible, you should always try to find a safer place to stop off the highway. You shouldn't stop on the shoulder to use a cell phone or check a route or a map; the shoulders are only for emergency use. If an emergency does force you to stop, then there are a few things you should do in order to make sure you, and any passengers, are safe.

First of all, if you think you are about to break down, then you need to safely make your way onto the shoulder. Stop as far away from the highway as you can. Once you have stopped, turn your wheel as far to the right, or in the opposite direction of the road. Leave your vehicle head lights on and turn on your hazard lights to increase your vehicles visibility. If for any reason you cannot make it to the shoulder, switch on your hazard warning lights, and only leave your vehicle when you can clear the highway easily. Do not attempt to place any warning devices on the highway.

When exiting the vehicle exit through the passenger side. This should be the side facing away from the highway. If not, get out the side that is furthest from the road, in order to ensure you are not getting out onto the highway or the shoulder itself, to avoid oncoming vehicles(e.g. the emergency services or other vehicles who may have broken down). You may think you're far from the road, but doing this will ensure you and your passenger's safety.

Next you need to get to a safe place; this would be up the bank or behind a barrier if possible. Once you're in a safe place, use a cell phone to call for help, it's best to call emergency help or road side assistance first. Notify immediate family members so that they know where you are and know that you are safe. Be prepared to describe to someone where you are, it can help to pinpoint your exact location, and allow road side assistance to reach you more promptly.

Breaking down on the highway can be scary, but that doesn't mean you can't do it safely. By following these tips and being responsible, you'll be back on the road in no time, safe and sound.

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