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Nighttime Car Accidents & Safety

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Whether involved in an accident, running out of gas or having car trouble in general, a busy highway can be especially dangerous at night.  Reduced visibility and potential driver fatigue are factors in many nighttime accidents and deaths each year.  Knowing what do to in a nighttime emergency may prevent an accident and save your life.  Here's some safety steps to take when such vehicle problems occur;

  • Immediately activate your hazard flashers.
  • Get all the way off the road if you possibly can. Disabled vehicles in the roadway tend to get hit, sometimes due to following drivers speeding, failing to keep a lookout, etc. Even if you are innocent and the driver who hits you is grossly negligent in 100 ways, the outcome for you will not be good if you are hit.
  • Quickly note your vehicle’s locations – landmarks, mile markers, etc. – to give to the 911 operator and roadside assistance.
  • Call 911 for police and if appropriate call your auto club for roadside assistance.
  • If your car is disabled in a traffic lane, get yourself completely out of the road. If you are on the interstate, it may be safest to wait on the grassy right-of-way completely off the pavement. Getting cold and wet is better than being hit by a tractor trailer at highway speed.
  • If you must exit the vehicle try to do so from the passenger’s side, away from traffic. If that is not feasible, at least pull as far off the traffic lanes as possible. If you are blocked in by a concrete wall, just don’t get out. Either drive up the emergency lane to the next exit with you hazard lights flashing or sit still with you hazard lights flashing while waiting for assistance. That may be the “least bad