Road Safety: Skid Out & Breakdown Tips

Yesterday in St. Francois County, three people were killed in a tragic accident.   A driver who skidded off any icy U.S. 67 and two Good Samaritans who stopped to help the driver were standing outside their vehicles.  Another approaching vehicle lost control on the Big River Bridge, near where the first vehicle had slid off the road.  The second vehicle hit the stalled vehicle, overturned and hit the three people standing outside the vehicles, killing them.

One of the scariest things for a motorist is having your car break down or slide off a road.  And, it can be especially dangerous if it happens after dark, during inclement weather, or on a bridge.

The most important thing to remember is to remain calm and keep your wits about you.  Remaining calm can help you navigate this stressful situation safely.  The number one priority is the safety of you and your passengers.

If you have a blow out, an engine failure, run out of gas, or slid off a slippery road, follow these tips:

  • If possible, get your car out of the flow of traffic lanes. This means pulling as far over to the right as possible and onto the shoulder, emergency lane or into grass on the side of the road.
  • Even if you have a flat tire, continue driving until your car is out of the traffic lanes. If you are on a bridge – continue driving until you are safely across.
  • If you are in a dangerous spot such as a busy highway or bridge – call 911 immediately and let them know your location. The State Highway Patrol can respond quickly and help you out of the situation.
  • Turn on your hazards and, if it’s dark, keep your vehicle running and the lights on.
  • It is highly recommended that you remain inside your vehicle with your seatbelt fastened.
  • If you feel you must exit the vehicle, only do so if you are absolutely sure you can make it safely across all lanes of traffic.
  • Proceed quickly to the right side of the road and walk at least 2 car lengths in the direction of the oncoming traffic. You want to avoid being near the car in case another vehicle hits it.
  • When calling 911 or roadside assistance, know your exact location. If you have cell service, you can use your phone’s GPS to pinpoint your exact location.   If you don’t have cell service and you are unfamiliar with the area, look for signage, mile markers, businesses, buildings or landmarks.
  • Keep the Missouri and Illinois Roadside Assistance numbers in your phone contacts.

MoDOT:  (314) 275-1500 or *55      IDOT:  (618) 346-3100 or *999

Casey, Devoti & Brockland is a St. Louis-based law firm focused exclusively on personal injury litigation.  Since 1983, our attorneys have helped injured people navigate the road to recovery by securing compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages.  Together Partners Matt Casey, Matt Devoti and Anne Brockland have nearly 50 years of trial experience handling the following personal injury matters:  car, truck and train crashes, victims of impaired and distracted driving, medical malpractice, birth injuries, product liability, premises liability, elder and sexual abuse, Workers’ Compensation and wrongful death.  We proudly serve clients throughout metropolitan St. Louis, southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois.

Our highly accessible attorneys deliver the perfect balance of aggressive legal representation, compassion and personal service.   If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence of another, call the office today for a free, no-obligation consultation: (314) 421-0763.

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