There are different times in a driver’s life when he or she may have to pull over on the side of the road. Whether a flat tire has derailed the trip, the driver or a passenger is experiencing motion sickness or you find the car isn’t performing correctly and it warrants a look under the hood, pulling over on the shoulder may be necessary.
It can be difficult to pull over smoothly and safely on a busy highway, especially when you are in a stressful situation, such as a mechanical emergency. But it is in your best interest to remain calm and follow a few procedures. First, slow down and put on your right-turn signal to indicate you will need to move into the right lane. Some people prefer to put their four-way-flashers on after they have successfully cleared the lanes and are ready to navigate onto the shoulder. Try to select a spot where you are not on a bend or where there is poor visibility or your vehicle cannot be seen by other drivers on the highway. You do not want to be injured while exiting or attempting to work on the pulled-over vehicle. Drivers should keep an emergency roadside assistance preparedness kit containing flares, emergency triangles or cones, a flashlight, batteries, a poncho, booster cables, duct tape, a utility knife, cord, a blanket, and first aid supplies in the car as a precaution. Each item serves its own unique purpose.
The Canadian Automobile Association recommends staying inside the vehicle, especially on a busy road. Tow trucks and police vehicles typically cruise busy stretches of road and help may arrive in a matter of minutes. Those who have a roadside assistance plan membership can use a cell phone to make a call for help. It is best to wait in the car until a tow truck or police arrive.