Safety Tips If Your Car Breaks Down After Dark

Attorney Grant Travis | Travis Law Firm | Personal Injury Attorney, DUI Defense Attorney, Criminal Defense Attorney | Serving Erie, Crawford, Warren & all of Northwestern PA | Call the Travis Law Firm at 814-277-2222 today!

The days are getting shorter, so it is getting darker earlier each evening. For many of us, we will be driving home from work in the dark in just a few weeks. Breaking down on the side of the road can be dangerous and frightening during daylight hours. However, breaking down after dark has its own set of challenges in addition to those you face when your vehicle breaks down on the side of the road.

If your vehicle breaks down after dark, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Use your hazard lights to warn other drivers. Immediately turn on your hazard lights at the first sign of trouble. Then move as far off the road as possible while remaining safe. You do not want to move too far off the road because you want law enforcement to see that you need assistance.
  • Note your location and contact help. Newer vehicles that have onboard assistance are great because they can pinpoint your exact location. If you do not have this capability in your vehicle, use your cell phone’s app for directions to estimate your location. Call 911 if you feel unsafe and request assistance. If you are still feeling unsafe, ask to stay on the line with the operator until the officer arrives and the 911 operator verifies the officer’s identity for you. You can also ask the operator to give you the officer’s name and badge number to verify his identity before unlocking your vehicle.
  • Remain in your vehicle with the doors locked until help arrives. Only exit your vehicle if it is necessary for your safety. If you do exit, only exit from the passenger side to avoid oncoming traffic. Never stand in front of or behind your vehicle in case another vehicle was to collide with your stalled vehicle. Be extremely cautious of anyone who stops to offer help. While we want to believe in Good Samaritans, the sad truth is that there are also many dangerous people on the roads. Keep your doors and windows locked and tell them the police should be arriving any minute. If you still feel uneasy, call 911 immediately.

For more information about what you need to do if your car breaks down, read AAA’s brochure, “What to Do When Your Vehicle Breaks Down.”

What to Do If You Are in a Traffic Accident?

If you are involved in a traffic accident, call 911 to request police and emergency medical services. Do not leave the scene of the accident.  As you wait for law enforcement, document the accident scene by taking pictures and videos, but only if it is safe for you to do so. When the police officer arrives, provide him with your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Answer his questions honestly but avoid admitting fault for the crash.

You should see your family doctor as quickly as possible if you were not transported to the emergency room. You need to rule out any injuries that were not immediately noticeable at the accident scene and protect your ability to file a successful accident claim. A delay in medical care can have a negative impact on an injury claim.

Accident Attorneys in Erie, PA

Call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Erie accident attorneys.  We will review your case at no charge and provide you with legal advice regarding your options for recovering compensation for your traffic accident.