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How to Handle a Roadside Emergency to Keep You and Your Car Safe

Auto emergencies are always stressful.

Roadside Emergency Safety

Whether it's a mechanical failure, a flat tire or an unexpected empty gas tank that causes a roadside emergency, it's vital to take steps right away to ensure your personal safety and protect your car:

  • Get off the roadway. If you can, pull off onto the shoulder or into an emergency lane to prevent a possible collision. Get as far off the road as possible to stay safe and avoid debris kicked up by other vehicles that could damage your paint or auto glass.
  • Make the vehicle conspicuous. As soon as you realize there's a problem, turn on your hazard lights. Once you've pulled off the road, place a warning triangle or flare as far back from your car as you can to give other drivers ample notice. If you don't have any warning signals in the vehicle, raise the hood, hang something white from the top of a closed roadside window, or tie a cloth around the antenna or a door handle.
  • Exit the car with caution. If the vehicle isn't operable and is sitting in traffic, judge whether you can exit safely and walk to a more secure area where you can watch and wait for help to arrive. Leave a note on the windshield for the police or emergency crew so they'll know where to find you. Even if you're getting out to check under the hood, change a tire or attempt a repair, don't open the driver's side door. Crawl across the passenger seat if necessary, but get out on the side that's farthest from any roadway traffic.
  • Stay with the vehicle. If you're able to move the car out of traffic to a safe location and you've called for assistance, stay inside until help arrives. Lock your doors, keep your seat belt fastened and use caution and common sense if a stranger approaches to offer help. If you need assistance, roll down your window slightly and ask that they call 911 for you.

If you need scratch or collision repair after a roadside emergency, contact us at Gerber Collision & Glass.


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