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Planning a Road Trip? Protect Yourself in the Event of Breakdowns

Posted on in Personal Injury

San Jose car accident attorneys, planning a road trip, vehicle maintenance, traffic collisions, car breakdownThe summer months are the time of year when many of us plan road trips. While residents in San Jose have plenty of scenic options to choose from, it is important to make safety a priority. Breakdowns on interstates and highways increase your risk for car accidents and injuries, which have the potential to be severe. Before your trip, make sure your car is properly maintained and review procedures to follow just in case the unexpected occurs.

What to Do if a Breakdown Occurs

Automotive breakdowns can happen due to improper maintenance, as well as due to traffic collisions. In addition to being an inconvenience, getting stuck on the side of the road can put the lives of you and your passengers at risk. A late May 2018 fatal accident on Highway 101 illustrates these dangers. According to Mercury News, two teenagers boys in an Acura TL jumped a curb near the Oakland Road Overpass, coming to rest on the highway below. While sitting in their disabled vehicle between lanes, they were struck by a 69-year-old San Jose driver. One of the boys was killed immediately, while the other suffered serious injuries. The accident also triggered several other crashes as cars in both lanes struggled to respond. No additional injuries were reported.

The accident highlights how a mishap can easily turn deadly. It also emphasizes the importance of pulling your car out of traffic when possible. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) advises that it is generally safest to remain in your vehicle during a breakdown, provided you are out of the path of incoming traffic.  If you are disabled and cannot pull over, such as in the situation above, you should make every attempt to exit the vehicle. Other suggestions the DMV recommends include:

  • If you must exit, do so on the right side of the car, away from oncoming traffic;
  • If you remain in the vehicle, wear your seat belt for added protection;
  • Notify California Highway Patrol immediately; and
  • Use caution in turning on your blinkers. At night, they can actually attract drunk drivers to your vehicle.

Take the Steps to Protect Yourself on the Road

There are steps you can take to protect yourself against becoming disabled during a road trip. These include:

  • Avoid reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding and distracted driving, which make car accidents more likely;
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before you go;
  • Keep an emergency kit with water, some non-perishable foods, a flashlight, and flares in your vehicle; and
  • Keep the numbers of the police, a tow truck company, and your insurer in a handy location.

Contact Us Today for Help

When car crashes and collisions do occur, our passionate San Jose car accident attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you need to recover. Call or contact Jachimowicz Law Group online today and request a consultation to see how we can assist you.

Sources:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/05/20/sjm-l-fatal-0520/

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/hdbk/idt_accidents

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