Breaking down in the middle of the road is dangerous. Whenever possible, drivers should get their car to the shoulder or another spot that is safer before calling for help. However, this is not always a possibility.
Should your car break down and you are unable to get it off the road, you need to make your vehicle visible to oncoming traffic. The first step should be putting on your hazard lights. The second step should be using road flares.
If you have never used road flares, now is the time to learn how. Here is our simple guide on how and when to use emergency road flares.
Start by Purchasing Road Flares
Road flares are critical items in any car emergency kit. But the truth is that most drivers do not have an emergency kit at all, much less one with road flares. If you do not yet have an emergency package, purchase one online or at an auto parts store. Concerning flares, they should be in the kit already, but you may want to buy different ones.
Most emergency kits come with incendiary road flares. However, thanks to LED technology, there are alternatives. Search for LED roadside assistance strobes, flares, and beacons. It is a good idea to have both on hand, just in case one doesn’t work.
If you already have road flares, check their expiration date. If it has passed, replace them. Dispose of expired roadside flares at a hazardous waste station.
Stay Safe When Using Flares
Your instinct may be to get out of the car and place the flares as quickly as possible, making your vehicle visible to other motorists. However, you need to make sure it is safe to do so. If you are in heavy traffic, stay in the car, buckled into your seat. If traffic is light enough that you can safely get out and get to the flares, go ahead and do so. Encourage all passengers to remain inside with their seatbelts fastened. Be sure your hazard lights are on.
Place the Flares Correctly
You want motorists to see the flares early enough to stop their car or change lanes. Hopefully, you will have multiple sets of flares. Place the first set about 15 feet back from your car on a flat surface with the light of the flare visible to approaching cars. Place the next set 30 feet behind the first. If the road you are on has traffic coming in both directions, you should also place a flare 15 feet in front of the vehicle.
Light the Flares
As you place the flares, light them. If you have LED flares, this means turning them on. With traditional flares, you remove the cap, strike the end of the flare against the cap with it pointing away from you and others, and place it on the ground where it cannot catch anything on fire.
Once you have the flares placed, it’s time to call for help. NK Towing is happy to come to you and get your vehicle off the road and you out of trouble. We offer 24-hour service, so don’t hesitate to call us whenever the need arises!