A roadside emergency can happen at any moment. It doesn’t matter if you are driving to work, the store, or on a cross country road trip—problems can arise. Car problems and emergencies are the worst kinds because they mean that you are going to be away from home and most likely left stranded. An emergency on the road can be a problem with the car, a fender bender, or a medical emergency. None of those situations are ideal, but they are manageable with some calm and focus. Use these tips on how to handle a roadside emergency and be safe.
There’s a reason that this is the first rule, because it’s the most important. Do not panic, under any circumstances. Stressing out during this emergency is only going to make things worse. You will no longer be thinking clearly and logically. You will be making decisions based on emotions and they will be bad ones. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and figure out what to do next.
Get Your Vehicle Off the Road
Getting your car off the road is important. If you can get to a parking lot, that is the best and safest place to be. You might be on the highway where there are no parking lots; in that case, look for a rest area or an off-ramp to stop. The last resort is to pull your vehicle to the shoulder, but make sure it’s completely off the road, so you’re far away from oncoming traffic. Turn on the hazard lights and make your vehicle as visible as possible. Take caution when exiting the vehicle by checking your mirrors and watching for traffic.
Assess the Situation
What kind of emergency are you having? The nature of the emergency will determine what steps you need to take next. If it’s car trouble, like a flat tire or overheating, then see if you can fix it yourself and get to work. Medical emergencies may require assistance from medical professionals. Do what you can in that instance and try to get some help.
Stay With the Vehicle and Call for Help
Don’t start walking down the highway if you are still on the road. Stay with your vehicle and call for help if you can’t fix the problem on your own. Call a non-emergency hotline if you are having car trouble and they will send someone out to help you. Tow truck companies are available around the clock and will be there soon. If you are having a medical emergency, then call 911, but remain calm until help arrives.
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