it's easy to make a mistake in a high-stress situation

Vehicle Breakdown Emergency Safety Tips
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Vehicle breakdowns are a fact of life. While many can be prevented with simple precautions, some can't be avoided and may put you in a dangerous situation. North Carolina law enforcement has asked us to convey a few safety tips to our members with hopes of saving lives.

While you can't always choose where you break down, you may be able to guide your vehicle to a safer place. Pull into a parking area if you can. If not, pulling as far off the roadway as possible will help to keep you and others safe. You don't need to be straddling the fog line on an interstate highway, especially if there is a wide shoulder. Doing so will only create higher risk of being struck from behind. The shoulder might be gravel or dirt and you may have just washed your car, but safer is always better. Always pull far off the roadway.

There is no need to camp on the roadside, even the temperature. If you are not making emergency repairs, sit inside your vehicle with the seatbelts buckled. That car, even though disabled, is a safety cage. Despite your best efforts, you will NOT see that runaway vehicle coming and you will NOT jump out of its way. Stay inside and stay alive.

If you ARE making emergency repairs, use some common sense. Keep unneeded people inside the car and pull off the road as far as you can. You CAN still move the vehicle on a flat tire, albeit slowly. Go to an area that affords you plenty of space and safety.

Has a friend or good Samaritan stopped to help you? Have that person park at least three car lengths behind you with the steering wheel pointed sharply away from the shoulder, which is your escape route. If that vehicle is parked too close to yours and is hit from behind, it will be pushed into your vehicle and into you. Giving a wide berth and the wheel turned out will create a better safety buffer.