By far, the scariest thing about driving is the threat of an accident on the road. Vehicle accidents of all types have the potential to be extremely serious and damaging in both a physical and emotional sense.
Another cause of frustration on the roads is breaking down – especially on motorways. Not only can this be enormously time-consuming and highly expensive to put right, it can also increase the risk of a car crash. Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to limit the likelihood of traffic accident injuries.
How can I avoid a road traffic accident following a break down?
As is so often the case, the key to safety is preparation. The following items should have a permanent presence in your car. The list is by no means exhaustive and contains only the essentials:
- A high-visibility vest
- A waterproof coat
- A warm blanket
- Walking boots
- A drink
- A warning triangle
The final item on this list is as much about keeping other road users safe as yourself. The thing about breakdowns is that you can never predict where and when they might happen. You therefore, cannot be sure that your car will come to an involuntary halt in a safe place.
A warning triangle will enable you to send a message to oncoming motorists that there may be trouble ahead. The earlier this message is received, the easier it is for them to react.
How do I safely deploy my warning triangle?
The first thing to do is to get your car to as safe a destination as possible. If you’re on a motorway, always try to exit at the next junction. However, this is not always possible in which case you should pull as far over as possible onto the hard shoulder and keep your wheels pointing left.
Once you have switched on your hazard lights, it’s time to deploy the triangle. This should only be done if it is safe to do so, so have a long, hard look around to gauge your surroundings and situation.
The triangle should be located at least 45 metres behind your vehicle whenever possible. Be wary of oncoming traffic as you do so and make sure your car is safe before you leave it.
Date Published: January 5, 2014
Author: David Brown