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7 keys to staying safe when you have to pull over


7 keys to staying safe when you have to pull over

One of the most dangerous things truckers may have to do in the course of getting from Point A to Point B is pull over along the side of a highway or other busy road. Even those who have covered hundreds of thousands of miles in their careers are at unique risk when they have to pull over to address an engine breakdown or blown-out tire, and there are proper behaviors that need to be reinforced.

Those include the following, all of which are vital to staying safe in a truly dangerous situation:

1) Get over as far as you can

While it's not always easy (thanks to guardrails and the like), drivers should strive to get as far away from traffic as they possibly can, according to Ashton & Price, LLP. That way, even if another motorist isn't necessarily paying careful attention, the odds of an accident are kept to a minimum.

2) Put out warning signs or flares

This piece of advice is especially vital at night, but it's true at any time of day: You need to make yourself as visible as possible, Ashton & Price, LLP, added. That means laying out reflective signs, road flares and so on, all of which will increase the likelihood that passing traffic will give you a wider berth.

3) Keep yourself visible too

Whenever you get out of your cab while on the side of the road, you should treat yourself like you would the truck and make sure other motorists have an easy time seeing you, Ashton & Price, LLP, further warned. Wearing bright clothing or a reflective vest is advisable in any such situation.

4) Turn on all your truck's lights

Even during on a clear day, turning on every light and flasher on your tractor trailer will help make you easy to spot - and therefore, easy to avoid, according to Crosley Law. Of course, when night falls or the weather limits visibility, the importance of taking this step increases exponentially, so it's just a good habit to get into, regardless of the time of day or outdoor conditions.

5) Don't stand around outside your truck

Even if you're covered head to toe in bright, reflective clothing and taking all precautions to make your truck easily visible, you can't account for other drivers' behavior, Crosley Law advised. Because of this, it's always advisable to stay inside your cab if you're waiting for help. If for some reason you can't do that, it's better to stay away from traffic, keeping the truck between you and it.

6) Make sure your brakes are fully engaged and working

Especially if you're pulled over on an incline, you need to make sure your emergency brake is applied and your truck won't go anywhere, according to The Carlson Law Firm. In some cases, you may want to think about chocking the wheels, as well.

7) Call for help when you need it

Finally, it's important not to be stubborn about some issues that force you to pull over, The Carlson Law Firm said. There's some stuff that requires a tow or professional help, and you should call for help as soon as you realize some things are beyond your ability to repair.

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