Unfortunately, as a commercial trucker out there on the road each and every day, sooner or later you’re going to have to deal with a breakdown. It’s just the law of averages playing its unfortunate game.
No one needs to tell you how dangerous the highway can be and how incredibly stressful it can be if your commercial truck happens to break down while on one. That’s where this list of top tips comes in handy for what you can do to keep yourself and others safe if your commercial truck breaks down, while on the highway.
Try and Get Your Truck into a Safe Location
This may not quite be so easy for obvious reasons (you’ve broken down) but when possible, you should absolutely try to get your truck over to the side of the road and into the hard shoulder. With any luck you may be able to drift over and get your truck off the road, but you may need to call an emergency road service provider to tow your truck somewhere safe.
If You’ve Called for Roadside Assistance, Don’t Stand Waiting in the Road
The best thing you can do to keep safe while waiting for the emergency road service to arrive is to stay in your truck. You obviously want to be around when they arrive, and it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that you don’t really want to be standing anywhere near a highway. Other drivers can be distracted when they see a truck on the side of the highway and actually drift toward it. While in your truck, you have excellent protection in the case of an accident.
If you can exit the area safely, it’s okay to leave your truck once the emergency repair service has arrived, but you’ll want to at least be sure to give them your phone number should they need to contact you, and make sure you remove any valuable or sensitive items from the vehicle.
Make Sure to Turn your Hazard Lights On and Bring Out the Emergency Marker Reflective Triangle
You’ll want to alert other drivers to the fact that you’re a hazard by the road, so be sure to pop on the lights and get out the reflective triangle, especially if it’s dark. Even in the daytime, people can drift and may not notice the giant broken-down truck at the side of the road — or be distracted trying to see what happened. Additionally, it’ll only help the emergency road service find you easier.
If it is dark out, make sure to get your side lights turned on too. You’ll want to be as visible as possible and make sure that no one misses you. Also, be sure not to put your warning triangle into the hard shoulder.
Contact Your Employer
Be sure to contact your trucking company as soon as possible after the accident to get instructions on what to do next and to assist with roadside assistance. If you’re using a trailer for rent, you may also need to contact the rental company and/or insurance carrier. As a company driver, your dispatcher or driver manager should be able to give you clear instructions, including which facility the truck should be sent to when the tow truck arrives.
While Waiting For Your Truck to get Back Up and Going Again, Find some Apps that Can Help Should the Situation Ever Arise Again
There’s just about nothing that isn’t available in app form these days, and there’s all sorts of road assistance apps available too, from GPS apps to direct you to where you’re going to apps to tell you about nearby services and establishments to apps that tell you about traffic conditions, you name it.
As time goes on, more and more advancements are made to the technologies that you have by your side to help us when you get caught up in a breakdown, so have a nose and see what you can find. The majority of emergency road service providers will have their own apps too, which can help you to call someone out with much more ease and efficiency.
If Needs Be, Don’t Hesitate to Call the Police
If you’re unable to get in contact with your emergency road service provider and you’re in a bit of a tight spot, or maybe feeling unsafe where you are then don’t hesitate to call 911. In no time at all they can dispatch someone to your location and either take you to somewhere safe or stay with you until you’re able to call your emergency road service provider out to help take care of the situation. You may even find yourself broken down in a dangerous area and, if this is the case, then calling the police is an absolute must.
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