You’re stranded on the side of the road...now what?
Keeping your vehicle’s maintenance up to date by a trusted mechanic will give you the best chance of getting from point A to B safely. But the reality is, vehicles can and do break down without notice. If you do find yourself stranded, follow these tips to stay safe while waiting for assistance.
Pull off the road.
If you are able to, pull your vehicle off of the roadway onto the shoulder as quickly and safely as possible. If you are unable to pull off, turn on your hazard lights to caution oncoming traffic of your location.
Note your location.
Being stranded on the highway can present a challenge in terms of identifying your location. Make a note of any signs and exit numbers. The more information you can relay the quicker help can arrive.
Call for roadside assistance.
Once you and all passengers are in a safe location, call your roadside assistance company. The operator can advise you on what to do next or get assistance out to you if needed. Most roadside assistance programs offer service 24/7 to ensure they are there when you need them.If you are not a member of a roadside assistance program, call 911 for assistance.
Notify a family or friend.
After calling for assistance, call a family or friend and notify them of the situation. It is always best to inform someone you know and trust when you are in an unfamiliar location.
Alert other drivers.
If you have an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle, light flares and carefully place them on the road to alert oncoming location of your emergency. Flares will caution drivers to slow down as they pass.
Assess the problem.
Did you notice any sounds or vibrations prior to your vehicle turning off? Make a note so you can relay that information to your service technician.
Be careful of strangers.
Gone are the days of having a passerby stop to help. Use good judgment if someone you do not know stops to assist you. Never get into a vehicle with a stranger.
Pack an emergency kit.
Keep basic first aid items, survival kit and emergency roadside items in your vehicle. If you get stranded this will ensure you have everything you need to signal for help, stay warm and administer first aid as needed.