How Not to Get Hurt on the Side of the Road If Your Vehicle Is Disabled

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In January 2022, Houston Chronicle wrote a safety-oriented article about traffic fatalities outside of disabled vehicles in Texas.

AAA reports that Texas ranks first in the nation in deaths outside disabled vehicles. Between 2015 and 2019, 263 people died outside disabled vehicles in Texas. California was the second highest during this period with 248 deaths.

Steps to Take

The main takeaway is how people can be safe if in a vehicle that becomes stalled on side of the road. Unless they can exit the vehicle safely, it is best to remain inside and wear seatbelt, and call for help.

If involved in a minor collision, go to the next exit and find a safe parking lot, or move the vehicle over to the shoulder. “Do not get out and have a meeting in the middle of a freeway with cars flying by at, you know, sometimes 50 to 70 miles an hour,” David Fink, a transportation manager at the Tow and Go program In fact, if there are no injuries and the vehicle is drivable, Texas state law requires drivers to move their vehicles. Once in a safe location, then the drivers may proceed sharing information pertaining to the accident.

The article also stressed the safety importance of vehicle maintenance, to help avoid breaking down on a busy freeway. Always make sure that vehicles and tires are filled properly.

Programs to Help

There are free programs designed to help people in these types of incidents. One such example is the Tow and Go program, which offers free tows to people with stalled vehicles or those with mechanical failure, in their service area. A spokesperson for this program stated that “people should stay in their vehicles and call them, and depending on where they are, a tow truck would be dispatched to remove their vehicle.”

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