The summer months are the time of year when many of us plan road trips. While residents in Virginia have plenty of scenic options to choose from, it is important to make safety a priority. Breakdowns on interstates and highways increase your risk for car accidents and injuries, which have the potential to be severe. Before your trip, make sure your car is properly maintained and review procedures to follow just in case the unexpected occurs.
What to Do if a Breakdown Occurs
Automotive breakdowns can happen due to improper maintenance, as well as due to traffic collisions. In addition to being an inconvenience, getting stuck on the side of the road can put the lives of you and your passengers at risk.
Sadly, our firm has reported on countless numbers of accidents where a vehicle has broken down, only to have that breakdown end in tragedy. This is why it is critical for all drivers to understand the importance of pulling your car out of traffic when possible. Law enforcement and safety advocate advises that it is generally safest to remain in your vehicle during a breakdown, provided you are out of the path of oncoming traffic. if you are disabled and cannot pull over, you should make every attempt to exit the vehicle. Other suggestions include:
- Evaluate your surroundings and make sure everyone is safe.
- Pull your vehicle over to the shoulder, away from traffic around you.
- Turn off the vehicle and allow it to rest.
- If you must exit, do so on the right side of the car, away from oncoming traffic.
- If you remain in the vehicle, wear your seat belt for added protection.
- Notify law enforcement immediately. Also notify any roadside assistance organization you are a member of.
- Wait for help inside of the car with hazard lights on, do not attempt to diagnose the issue unless you are aware of what you’re doing and located in a safe environment.
- Use caution in turning on your blinkers. At night, they can actually attract drunk drivers to your vehicle.
Take the Steps to Protect Yourself on the Road
There are some steps you can take to protect yourself against becoming disabled during a road trip. These include:
- Avoid reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding and distracted driving, which make car accidents more likely.
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before you go.
- Keep an emergency kit with water, some non-perishable foods, a flashlight, and flares in your vehicle.
- Keep the numbers of the police, a tow truck company, and your insurer in a handy location.
Contact a Va. Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver who was speeding, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to see what type of financial damages you may be entitled to. You can receive financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, and more. Call our office to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.
The legal team from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn have been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled Norfolk car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.
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