How To Get Your Broken-Down Car Safely Off The Road

On October 20, 2019, a man was standing outside his disabled vehicle when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver on the F.E. Everett Turnpike according to police. Unfortunately, this is too common of an occurrence on New Hampshire roads and highways. To reduce your risk of injury, the following steps should be taken.

Call for help

If you are stranded on the side of the road with a disabled vehicle, call for help from either your auto insurance company or, if you were involved in an accident, call the local police and/or 911.

Move to Safety

If possible, always attempt to move your vehicle to the side of the road following a breakdown or an accident. Move your vehicle onto the shoulder of the road and as far right as possible. However, if your car is immobile, then call 911 and remain buckled inside your vehicle until help arrives.

Warn oncoming traffic

Always activate your car’s hazard lights to warn people approaching your vehicle that you are in distress. If you have a white or bright cloth, fasten it to the outside of your car, facing traffic, to signal that you need help. If you have any traffic cones or flares in your vehicle, arrange or activate them around your vehicle as any additional warning can prevent a severe injury or death.

Enlist the help of other drivers.

Typically, you don’t want to flag down other drivers while stuck in the middle of the road. Drivers may not be able to react in time and could hit you or your car. That said, if another driver has flares or warning triangles, utilize them.

Keep calm

While awaiting help, keep calm. This is especially important if others are in the car with you. If someone is hurt, share that information with 911. Never move an injured person unless they are in more danger if not moved. If there is a wound, apply direct posture. If there is a foreign object in the wound, do not try to remove it. If an individual is not breathing and you’re trained in CPR, then begin CPR with compression. Keep performing CPR until a trained responder arrives and takes over.