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What to do if Your Car Stalls on the Freeway

I think I wrote before that I recently bought a new car. My old car was a 2003 Mazda Protege with a little over 160,000 miles on her. Her name was Pearl. Now, I know it seems I am getting sentimental, because I am. I drove Pearl into the ground before I decided to purchase a brand new car. And what I mean by that is, I drove her until she literally could not be driven any longer. She broke down on the way to work, on the way home from work, to the gym, you name it. So, I know that feeling when your car all of a sudden stope working on the freeway and it becomes a hassle for everyone involved. And yesterday morning on my way to work, a car broke down in the third lane of traffic on the 5 freeway going southbound.

Working for an accident attorney, I get to learn and write about things I didn’t already know. So I decided to give you all some tips on what to do (and not do) should you break down on the freeway. If you are suffering from injuries due to an accident, contact an auto injury lawyer today.

auto injury lawyer, accident attorney

Auto Injury Lawyer | Breaking Down on the Freeway

Breaking down on the freeway can be extremely stressful. Not only because you are in the middle of traffic, but because people put the blame on you when your car stalls out. Sometimes you just don’t have enough time or juice in your car to pull over. Especially if the breakdown comes out of nowhere.

The first thing to do after your car breaks down: turn your hazards on! It’s also important to know where your hazards lights are located. The research I did for this post said that you should get out of your car. However, I have been told by the California Highway Patrol, that you should never get out of your car on the freeway. As it is unsafe and you can end up getting hit by another car. If you are stalled in a “live lane,” keep your hazards on, call for a tow service and wait in your car for assistance.

If you are able to move your vehicle to the side of the road and it is safe to do so, get out of the car. Hopefully you have an emergency kit in your car. If so, put reflective triangles or flares if it can be done safely.

Check The Area

Make sure that it is safe to get out of the car. Sometimes, especially during rush hour, it can be difficult to gauge whether it is safe to get out of the car or not. In most cases, it is suggested that you stay in your car until assistance from a tow truck or police officer have arrived. Exiting your vehicle or standing outside of your vehicle on the freeway increases your risk of injury.

Additional Tips

In doing research, I found that most studies suggest that you should never accept unofficial assistance in the wake of the breakdown. Meaning, they suggest that you do not allow those who are not in law enforcement or with a tow trucking company to assist you.

  • Do not try to flag down other vehicles to help
    • This not only puts you in danger, but it could put others in possible danger as well;
  • If you are able to pull over to a safety, raise the hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it out the window so tow truck operators or police know that you’re in need of assistance;
  • Don’t stand next to or behind your vehicle
    • This is because you can be hit from behind or the side. We suggest waiting in your car for help to arrive;
  • Unless you have experience fixing cars, do not try to fix the car yourself on the the side of the road;
  • If you can safely make it to a call box, you can do so;
  • Only call 911 from your phone if there is a real emergency; drunk drivers, serious road hazards, etc.
    • Calls made to 911 from a cell phone are often handled from centralized locations which can be overloaded
      • These calls that ask for traffic information and towing help are not appreciated by 911 dispatchers.

Suffering from Injuries? Contact an Accident Attorney Today!

Suffering from injuries due to a car accident are very stressful. That is why an accident attorney in our office is here to help. We want to make this process extremely easy for you and your family. As an auto injury lawyer, Ian Silverthorne wants you to be able to focus your energy on healing from your injuries. He knows how to deal with the insurance companies. We are all aware of the tactics the insurance companies use in order to make your life difficult. As your attorney, Ian will never back down.

If you are suffering from injuries due to an accident, please do not hesitate to contact us. Consultations with an attorney in our office are free!

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