You’ve broken down on the highway. You’ve already called for the emergency breakdown services and they’re on their way. But what do you do now? Some say you shouldn’t be sat in your car. Others say you shouldn’t leave your car. There are many dangers of being stranded on the highway while cars are whizzing past you at great speed. We don’t even realize how much danger we’re in because it’s not a situation we are familiar with. That’s where the problems lie, we don’t know how to act when our car breaks down. But you can avoid all the dangers by being aware of what kind of signals you’re sending to oncoming traffic. Keeping your car stocked and prepared for such an event will pave the future for you.
Photo by: Jack Redgate
A bright as possible
In some countries, you must have some things in your car at all times. All across Europe, countries have set in place laws for every driver to follow should they break down. Firstly, you have to set a high-visibility red or orange triangle on the side of the road. Do this around 50 meters away from your car so that oncoming cars can be notified of a hazard ahead. Then, you should also put on a high-visibility jacket so you’re clearly visible to drivers. This is crucial during foggy or downpour conditions. Finally, set your hazard lights on. All these things equate to a very bright warning to oncoming drivers so they’re aware you’re up ahead. It gives them time to react and slow down.
Wait in or out?
There is conflicting advice regarding where you should wait. It depends on the conditions sometimes. If it’s very foggy and or some kind of weather conditions where visibility is poor, you should wait outside your car. You must also wait around 10-15 meters away from your car just in case a driver hits your car. With you waiting on the side of the highway in the grass or in a field, you won’t be in harm’s way. If there is clear visibility then you should wait inside your car. You’re out of the cold and you may also be able to charge your phone and consume refreshments. The danger that some people express is, someone still coming and hitting you in the back. This can cause severe injury and whiplash. It’s your right to call a personal injury lawyer that takes cases involving this kind of incident. Chronic pain injuries cost a lot of money over the years so you may want to receive compensation to pay for treatments
Even if you don’t have an issue with your engine, it’s a good idea to put the hood up. This is a clear sign from all sides that your car is in need of assistance. Both sides of the highway can see your hood is raised and be more mindful of your presence.
The more warnings you can give other drivers, the safer you’ll be when your car has broken down on the highway. Buy a high-visibility triangle and jacket and keep them in your car.