Experiencing a flat tire, a collision or another emergency on the road is never pleasant. Most important, however, is that dealing with these situations in traffic is often dangerous. Even when drivers manage to get their impaired vehicles out of the traffic lanes, they are at risk of other drivers harming them from the moment they step out of their vehicles.
The NC Move Over and Fender-Bender laws exist for good reason. However, drivers need to know about preventive measures they can take to reduce roadside emergencies — and good ways to deal with them when they happen.
An Ounce of Prevention
The best types of roadside emergencies are the ones that drivers prevent. Anyone who learns to drive a car also needs to learn some basic common-sense methods for reducing the likelihood of troubles on the road:
- Do a walk-around before every trip: Whether a trip involves one mile or hundreds of miles, taking a moment to notice underinflated or flat tires or obstacles that can damage a car is better than experiencing break-downs while on the road.
- Obtain regular maintenance: Whether drivers do their own maintenance or call in a mechanic, thorough checks of everything — from oil and coolant levels to windshield-wiper blades and fluid can help keep vehicles in good condition and less likely to become victim to a roadside emergency.
Staying Safe When an Emergency Occurs
The unfortunate truth is that even tow-truck drivers and other roadside assistance professionals sustain injuries when helping disabled vehicles. Since drivers who get stuck on the road do not receive formal training, they need to follow a few simple rules to reduce their risk of serious injuries:
- Get off the road: Whenever possible, drivers should move their vehicles to the side of the road in a place that puts them out of the main flow of traffic.
- Use a cell phone to get help: Rather than getting out of the car, call for assistance. In some areas, a call to the NC DOT Incident Management Assistance Patrols gets a truck out for help from someone with training and experience. Auto club participants can also make a quick call. Or, call 911 or local police for advice on the next steps.
- Be visible: Even a minor curve in the road can make a disabled vehicle difficult to see, particularly after dark. Start up the vehicle’s flashing hazard lights, if possible, or use reflective triangles or flares. Of course, extreme caution is required to safely place any type of signal outside of the vehicle.
When to Call a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer
All too often, preventive measures are not enough to protect occupants of disabled vehicles. Bad weather conditions can prevent oncoming drivers from avoiding a car accident, or drunk or distracted drivers may simply fail to notice.
These drivers may try to avoid liability by placing the blame on a motorist who experienced an emergency, took all possible actions to prevent a collision and yet sustained injuries in spite of their responsible behavior. Victims of this type of a collision should never admit any degree of fault, and they need to seek support from an experienced auto accident lawyer as soon as possible.