Protect Yourself in the Event Your Car Breaks Downs
Most of us have had the experience of being stuck on the side of the road due to automotive issues, such as a flat tire or unexplained stalling. Breakdowns leave drivers vulnerable and increase the odds of severe and life-threatening injuries. A recent car accident involving a driver from Port St. Lucie emphasizes the potential dangers. Being aware of these risks and the proper safety procedures to follow can help to ensure you and your passengers stay safe.
Car Accidents Due To Vehicle Problems
TC Palm reported a September 2017 car accident that occurred on after midnight on I95 near the Palm City exit, in which an Orlando man suffered a broken back after being hit by another driver. The man’s car had overheated, causing him to pull over. As he was waiting beside his vehicle while it cooled down, he was hit by a drunk driver from Port Lucie, who was heading southbound and struck him from behind.
Unfortunately, these types of car accidents are not uncommon. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 44,000 accidents involving vehicle breakdowns occur on roads throughout the country each year. Among the most common reasons that lead to these accidents include:
- Tire and wheel-related issues, such as flat tires and blow-outs;
- Brake system-related issues, such as poor functioning and total loss of braking ability;
- Steering issues, which make it hard to control the vehicle;
- Transmission and engine-related issues, such as overheating and stalling.
In many cases, you can help reduce your risks of suffering a breakdown by making sure your car receives regular maintenance and routinely checking things such as tire pressure and fluid levels.
What to Do if Your Car Breaks Down on the Road
In the event you do breakdown while driving on a major highway or interstate, knowing what to do could end up saving your life. The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends taking the following actions:
- Do not attempt to address the problem yourself, even if it seems like an easy fix.
- Make a note of your location and any nearby landmarks, and call law enforcement or your local tow truck company.
- If you do not have a phone, be patient and wait until a police officer or tow truck passes.
- Pop your trunk and put your flashers on to alert other drivers.
- If possible, get outside of your vehicle and stand as far from the road as possible.
- Do not attempt to push your vehicle yourself, regardless of the circumstances.
In case of emergency, it is always a good idea to keep flares, a flashlight, a fully charged cellphone, and emergency numbers in your vehicle. In the event an accident does occur, get the other driver’s contact information, notify law enforcement, seek medical attention, and contact the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III as soon as possible. We can arrange a free consultation with a Fort Pierce car accident attorney, who can advise you on how to get the compensation you need to recover.