What to do if your car is disabled on the highway

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WASHINGTON — Being involved in a minor crash or suffering a mechanical breakdown on the Beltway, or any major highway, can be stressful and potentially deadly.

The woman killed in Monday morning’s crash on the Inner Loop of the Beltway had stopped in a travel lane near Van Dorn Street and was hit by a pickup truck that tried to stop. When she got out of her Nissan Maxima, she was struck and killed by a passing car.

On Saturday, a local high school football coach was killed after getting out of his vehicle on the Beltway near the mixing bowl.

Jim Battagliese, WTOP’s director of traffic and weather operations. said there are steps to take to stay safe if you car becomes disabled on the highway.

“If your car breaks down on a major highway, the best think you can do try to get as far off to the right shoulder as you possibly can,” said Battagliese. “Get out of your car through the door that’s the farthest away from traffic, and open your hood to let other motorists know that your car is broken down.”

While the temptation is to inspect any damage, Battagliese said, that is dangerous.

“Do not walk into the travel lanes to try to gather anything that may have fallen off your vehicle, and don’t try to cross the highway at all,” he said. “Make sure your emergency lights are on wait for help to arrive.”

Sometimes a breakdown or crash happens in a travel lane.

“Stay in your vehicle with your hazard lights on, and wait until help arrives,” Battagliese said.

The post What to do if your car is disabled on the highway appeared first on WTOP.

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