6 tips for safer Labor Day road trips
Here’s a sobering fact. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, in 2008, an estimated 701 pedestrians were killed on freeways out of the 4,378 pedestrians killed that year.
If a flat tire, mechanical breakdown, or empty fuel tank forces you to stop driving, here are steps to ensure your safety while you’re stopped roadside.
1. Get off the road
Pull your vehicle as far off the road as safely possible. If your vehicle is in or near traffic and you can safely walk to another location, do it. If the vehicle is parked on the shoulder of a busy highway, exit on the passenger side. Lock the door and leave a note on the windshield in case roadside assistance or the police stop by.
2. Make your vehicle as visible as possible
Turn on the hazard lights as soon as you realize your vehicle is slowing down. Once stopped, use any warning signals that you have—flares, hazard triangle, or warning light—to alert other motorists to your vehicle's presence. Place the warning device as far behind your car as practical to give other motorists as much notice as possible.
3. Display a distress signal
If you need police help, raise the hood or tie a white cloth to the radio antenna or door handle, or hang the cloth out of the top of the door and close it on the cloth.
4. Keep the doors locked
If the vehicle is in a safe location, you should wait inside. But keep the doors locked and your safety belt fastened.
5. Exercise caution
Use good judgment in accepting help from strangers. If someone suspicious stops, lower the window only enough to talk. If you're waiting for help, thank them for stopping but tell them you're OK. If you need help, ask them to make a call for you.
6. Union Plus Tip: Union families are eligible for Union Plus Motor Club emergency roadside assistance. Less expensive than AAA, Union Plus Motor Club membership covers your entire household for one low fee. Read about Union Plus Motor Club benefits.