Texas Living

Stay Safe When You’re Stranded

By Jennifer Chappell Smith 8.26.15

You have car trouble on the side of the road, on the interstate, or in the middle of nowhere. What happens next?

Aside from the stress caused by a broken-down vehicle, whether it’s due to an overheated engine or a flat tire, you’re vulnerable anytime you pull over on the side of the road. A slight swerve from a passing car or a distracted driver could put you at risk. To ensure a safe return to the road, follow these tips anytime you need to pull over.

  1. Navigate traffic calmly and stop in the safest possible place. Look for a well-lit area away from fast-moving traffic. It’s worth driving a bit farther and ruining a wheel or rim to protect loved ones on a busy highway, notes the Insurance Information Institute.
  2. Remain inside the car — sometimes the safest place — as you call for help. Lock doors, close windows, and sit tight until roadside assistance arrives. If you see flames coming from the car, however, exit the vehicle immediately.
  3. Signal other drivers with hazard lights. If you do exit the vehicle, set out flares or reflective triangles to alert oncoming traffic.
  4. If you feel you’ve stalled in a dangerous location, dial 911.


Did You Know?                                                                                             

In Texas, a statewide “Move Over/Slow Down Law” requires drivers to slow down and change lanes to avoid police cars, fire trucks, other emergency vehicles, and state transportation department workers anytime they are stopped on the shoulder of the road. All 50 states have laws similar to this, but 71 percent of American drivers don’t know such laws exist, according to a survey by the National Safety Commission.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2015 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance