Safety tips for dealing with a stalled vehicle

With the holidays approaching, thousands of Tennessee drivers will be driving to various destinations throughout the state. Most of these drivers and their passengers will be so consumed by the holidays and all the excitement and commotion they bring that they will likely fail to check whether or not their vehicle is in proper working order. In order to avoid being involved in a car accident, it's wise for drivers to be prepared if they encounter car problems while driving.

If a vehicle stalls or breaks down while on the highway or Interstate, it's important for drivers to follow some basic safety tips. First and foremost, it's crucial to attempt to maneuver a stalling vehicle off to the far right shoulder of a road. Drivers typically have some indication and warning that something isn't working properly with a vehicle and should have time to act accordingly.

Once a vehicle is stopped and positioned on the far right shoulder, drivers should turn on the vehicle's hazard lights. Depending on the time of day and visibility, it may not be safe to exit a stalled vehicle. If visibility is poor or it's dark out, other drivers may not be able to see well and stalled drivers and passengers who exit the vehicle risk being hit by oncoming traffic.

It's wise, therefore, for drivers of stalled vehicles to remain in the vehicle and call for assistance. Once help arrives, drivers and passengers should still be wary of oncoming vehicles and take safety precautions to ensure they are out of harm's way.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Tips for when the road trip stalls," Jim Abbott, Nov. 5, 2012

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