Vehicle Break Downs
You are driving down the
highway when suddenly you have car trouble. The National Safety Council suggests
the following measures when your car breaks down or has a flat tire on the
At the first sign of car trouble,
gently and smoothly take your foot off the accelerator. Do not brake hard or
suddenly. Carefully work your vehicle toward the breakdown lane or the side of
the road. If you are on an interstate, try to reach an exit. Signal your
intentions to drivers behind you. If it is necessary to change lanes, watch your
mirrors and the traffic around you closely.
Once off the road, make your car
visible. Put reflectorized triangles behind your vehicle to alert other drivers;
use your emergency flashers. If it is dark, turn on the interior dome light.
When you have a flat tire, be
certain that you can change it safely without being close to traffic. If that is
possible, change the tire as you normally would. Remember, safety must take
precedence over your schedule or whatever other concerns you may have.
However, when the car is beyond
repair, it is best to get professional help. Do not try to flag down other
vehicles. Raise your hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang
it out a window so police officers or tow truck operators will know help is
needed. Don't stand behind or next to your vehicle. If the car is in the
roadway, stand away from the vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
If your car is safely out of
traffic, wait inside the vehicle with the doors locked. Use your cellular phone
to call for help. If someone stops and offers to help, open the window slightly
and ask them to call the police.
Watch for a uniformed police
officer or other emergency personnel. All interstate highways and major roads
are patrolled regularly. Also, some highways have special
It is inadvisable to walk
on an interstate, especially during inclement weather. However, if you can reach
a source of help on foot, without jeopardizing your physical or personal safety,
try the direct approach by walking. Keep as far from traffic as possible and
walk on the right side of the roadway. Never attempt to cross a multi-lane, high