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Accidents and Heat: Keeping Safe While in a Disabled Vehicle

It is not unusual for a car to become completely disabled in hot weather. The battery, engine and cooling systems in a car are under additional stress from the heat. This can result in any number of mechanical breakdowns that may render the vehicle immovable. If this happens, it’s important to keep yourself and any passengers safe. 

Preparing Your Trip

Before hitting the road in hot weather, be sure to prepare for the trip by stocking the car with emergency provisions. Unless you know every stretch of road you are about to travel, make sure you have adequate food and water in case of an emergency. You will likely drink more water than usual, so pack enough in a cooler to keep everyone hydrated. 

A fully charged cell phone is one of the most essential tools in the modern age for coping in the heat when your car breaks down or if you are involved in an accident. You may not have reception at the scene, but if you want to call for help, you will need a charged battery. Although technology has the potential to save your life, it is not infallible. Always pack a physical map of the route that will allow you to locate assistance should your cell phone fail. 

A spare tire is a must when travelling in the heat, as flats are more common when the temperature is soaring. In order to change a tire, you will also need tools. These tools should be easily locatable and in good condition. It is also a good idea to have an emergency kit that includes matches, flares, a flashlight and first aid provisions. Always wear or pack shoes that are fit for hiking, as you may have to walk a considerable distance to find help. 

Break Down in the Heat

If you can move your vehicle into the shade, do so immediately. Avoid overusing the cooling system if it is still working, as it will run down the battery. It is not advisable to leave the vicinity of the vehicle unless you do not have a cell phone signal and are stranded in a remote location. If you can, carry out any necessary repairs quickly and effectively. Otherwise, attempt to flag down another driver for assistance. 

Water is important, but it is essential that you ration your supplies until help arrives. If you have flares, use them to signal to other nearby drivers or inhabited locations that you are in need of assistance. Alternatively, fashion a “HELP” sign that you can affix to your car window to alert passing vehicles to your predicament. 

In the event of an accident in the spring or summer heat, make sure everyone involved is safe and hydrated. Working together is for the common good, but avoid discussing the accident, or who is at fault, in the heat of the moment. This may negatively impact your chances of securing fair compensation from a personal injury claim. 

Once you are back in civilization, reach out to the offices of H. Lehman Franklin, P.C., for legal representation in pursuit of compensation. You can reach our team at 912-764-9616 or via email at info@hlfranklin.com