How to handle a highway breakdown or collision

THORNHILL, ON, Nov. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - Every day, drivers call CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) for service because they have either been involved in a collision or their vehicle has broken down on the side of the road.

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.

Today, CAA SCO, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and Toronto Police Traffic Services launched a "Stranded Driver" Campaign to educate motorists on how to handle a breakdown or collision.

What to do if your vehicle breaks down:

  • Stay calm and pull off the road safely.
  • Note your vehicle's location. This will come in handy when calling for assistance.
  • If you must get out of your vehicle, watch carefully for oncoming traffic especially at night or in bad 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 911 for help.

"Don't assume other drivers can see you if you become stuck on the side of the road," said Henry Westenbrink, Manager ERS Operations, CAA SCO. "That's why it is important for drivers to prepare for the unexpected."

"Drivers should make sure their vehicles are road-ready because breakdowns and collisions can occur when least expected," said OPP Sergeant Dave Woodford, OPP Highway Traffic Safety Division. "If you do become stranded on a highway, remember, don't panic."

The "Stranded Driver" safety checklist will be available at CAA Car Care Centres, select CAA Travel Stores and select ServiceOntario locations until the end of the year. Drivers can also download the tips at www.caasco.com/StrandedDriver and place the handy guide in their glove box.

CAA South Central Ontario is a not-for-profit auto club offering insurance, travel, automotive care and roadside services. There are more than 1.8 million CAA members in South Central Ontario and 5 million members in Canada. We're more than Roadside Assistance. We're Life-side Assistance. Visit www.caasco.com.

Follow @caasco on Twitter for regular updates on wait times and other news and information.

SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario

For further information:

Media contact: Silvana Aceto, Media and PR Specialist, CAA SCO, sace@caasco.ca, Office: (905) 771-3194, Cell: (416) 209-4930 or Jeff LeMoine, Internal/External PR Specialist, jlem@caasco.ca, Office: (905) 771-4709, Cell: (416) 254-0641. 


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