HUDSON, Wisc. — A Wisconsin police officer used her squad car to protect two stranded motorists on the highway. Good thing. Moments after she left the vehicle, a truck going 50 miles an hour struck her squad car and came within inches of the officer. The truck finally stopped five feet in front of the couple changing their tire.
When you break down on the roadside, you aren’t just dealing with an automotive inconvenience — you may be dealing with life and death. The chances of a pedestrian surviving being struck by a vehicle are 90 percent at speeds under 20 miles an hour.
But there’s almost no chance of survival at 50 miles an hour.
We don’t get to pick where our car breaks down, so be prepared. If you break down, AAA recommends that you:
Never stand behind or directly in front of your vehicle.
Turn your hazards on at night or during bad weather
Raise your vehicle’s hood.
Immediately call for help once you are a safe distance from the roadway.
If your vehicle is inoperable and you can safely get to a safer location, do so.
If it is unsafe to get out of the vehicle, remain inside and wait for a law enforcement officer or roadside assistance.