Tips for handling emergencies on the road

Many things can happen when you are on the road. Being prepared in advance can make a big difference in how you handle unexpected troubles. Ultimately, the goal is to get to your destination safety. This is, obviously, never a guarantee. You have to rely on other drivers to help keep you safe as well as trust that no vehicles -- or roadway infrastructure -- have defects that lead to horrible accidents.

Some of the more common emergencies that you will face while you are driving can put you and others in danger. For example, a tire blowout can make you lose control of your vehicle. Regardless of what happens, following these steps might help you to avoid being struck by another car while you address the problem.

  • Try to get off the roadway if possible. This might be a challenge, especially if you aren't in the right lane or if your vehicle is disabled. Ideally, you will be able to make it to off-street parking, such as in a gas station parking lot.
  • Turn on your emergency flashers if you are still on the road or shoulder. This alerts other drivers that there is something wrong so they can take evasive action. You might also place flares or safety triangles behind your car if you are able to get out of the vehicle safely.
  • Stay in your vehicle until it is safe to leave. If you are near traffic, try to cross to the passenger seat so you don't have to get out near the flow of other vehicles. Stay as close to your car as you can if you have to get out on the driver's side or if you need to work on that side.
  • Consider calling a tow truck to take your vehicle to a mechanic or somewhere safer than the side of the road. This might cost a bit, but your safety is the priority. In some cases, your insurance might cover all or part of the expense.

There is a chance that another motorist will slam into you or your car. This can lead to very serious injuries that may require you to get emergency medical care. These expenses shouldn't be yours to bear if the other driver was at fault for the accident. One way that you can hold that person liable is by seeking compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

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