Published on August 15th, 2013 | by Jordan

How to Handle a Highway Breakdown or Collision

Ending up stranded on a busy highway can be nerve wracking, and that’s why it’s so important to know what to do and how to stay safe in an emergency situation.

“Drivers need to be prepared for the unexpected. Make sure your vehicle is road-ready because a breakdown or a collision can happen when you least expect it,” said Matthew Turack, Vice President, CAA Insurance Company (Ontario).

What to do if your vehicle breaks down:

  • Stay calm and pull off the road safely.
  • Remember your vehicle’s location. This will come in handy when calling for help.
  • If you must get out of your vehicle, watch carefully for oncoming traffic especially at night or in poor weather.
  • Never stand behind or directly in front of your vehicle, as you are at risk of being struck by drivers who might not see you.
  • If you CANNOT pull off the road, turn on your emergency flashers.
  • Call 9-1-1 for help.

What to do if you are involved in a collision:

  • If you are injured, don’t move.
  • Dial 9-1-1 if someone is injured or if there is significant damage to any of the vehicles involved.
  • All collisions resulting in property damage to vehicle(s) exceeding $1,000 must be reported to police.
  • If it is safe to do so, move the vehicle(s) to the side of the road.
  • Record all the details of the collision and exchange information.
  • If your vehicle needs to be towed to a Collision Reporting Centre (CRC), contact your insurance company before signing or authorizing any towing.
  • If you are insured with CAA Insurance, we will arrange for the pick-up and towing of your vehicle from the CRC to a repair facility.
  • Call the claims department of your insurance company.

Print a copy of CAA South Central Ontario’s safety checklists and place the handy guide in your glove box.

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