How To Be Safe When Pulling Over?

By Richard Armen

If you ever have to pull over on the side of the highway, for any reason, always be conscious of your safety when doing so. Even though there may be plenty of people driving past you on the freeway, you are still essentially on your own when it comes to staying safe on the side of the highway. Whether you are pulling over because of car trouble, because you see emergency lights behind you, or because you’ve been frightened off the road, do not neglect to pay attention to safety considerations even while trying to deal with the situation at hand.

If you are experiencing car trouble, pull as far off the right side of the road as you can, turn on your hazard lights, and use emergency triangles or flares to warn other motorists of the situation. A basic roadside emergency kit can be invaluable in times like these. Never stand in the road to try to figure out your car troubles or flag down other drivers, especially if it is a road with a very fast speed limit, to avoid the possibility of being hit by a driver who is not paying attention. Whether you drive a hundred mils each day, or just a mile or two to work and back, you need to be aware of the safety issues that go along with stopping on the roadway for any reason.

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There have been stories recently making the news of criminals using fake emergency lights to trick young women driving alone into pulling over. Always remember that flashing lights and a white sedan do not necessarily mean that the driver is a police officer. Far too many drivers would pull over in this situation without giving it so much as a second thought. If you are driving down a deserted road that is not well lit, the best plan of action is to slow down and drive slowly to a safer place to stop. An actual police officer will understand your reluctance to pull over in a potential danger zone, even if you must drive several miles to find a well-lit area.

Finally, what should you do if you are tailgated or are being targeted by a driver with road rage? Do not pull over for any reason, even if they are honking their horn, trying to get your attention, or even hitting your vehicle with their bumper. Instead, keep driving until you reach an area with a large concentration of people. Even then, avoid stopping or getting out of your car unless you absolutely must. If the need arises, have your stun gun or pepper spray out and ready to use in case it turns into a dangerous confrontation.

In any of these situations, most drivers simply panic and do not think through the possible consequences of their actions. In none of the above situations should you just pull over as fast as possible without considering the safety of doing so. Always pull over with your safety in mind so that you don’t find yourself face to face with an angry driver, a criminal posing as a cop, or a driver coming right at you too quickly to stop.

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