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What to do if you have a flat tire on the highway

January 5, 2012 by Steven M. Gursten

Michigan auto accident attorney gives 11 safety tips after a fatal accident closes I-696 this morning

As many of you commuters in the Southfield and Farmington Hills area know, a six-mile stretch of I-696 was shut down this morning for many hours.

The reason for such drastic measures by police is a great tragedy. A pedestrian was trying to change a tire when he was struck multiple times and killed on the highway, according to published reports. After the initial crash, there was a subsequent auto accident that sent three people to the hospital.

Police are still investigating the accident, and they are asking that anyone with information, who might have seen something or struck something, call the Michigan State Police at (248) 584-5740.

In the meantime, our auto accident attorneys want to leave you with some safety tips from the National Safety council on what to do if you have a tire blowout on the highway.

1. SLOW DOWN. It is first and foremost the responsibility of other drivers to slow down when they see vehicles at the side of the road and to change lanes away from the stalled vehicles using their turn signals.

2. Grip the steering wheel. At the first sign of tire trouble, firmly grip your steering wheel.

3. Don’t slam on the brakes. Let the car slow down gradually by removing your foot from the gas pedal.

4. If you have to, change lanes. Use your signal and do so carefully. Watch the traffic around you closely.

5. Don’t stop in traffic. It’s better to roll your vehicle off the roadway and into a safe place than it is to stop in traffic and risk a rear-end car accident or side collision with other cars.

6. Move to safe grounds. Drive to a traffic-free area. The area should also be stable and flat. Driving a short distance on a flat tire to a very safe, traffic-free area could literally save your life. Don’t worry about your tire. You can drive on a flat if you avoid sudden movements.

7. Turn on your emergency flashers. Just because you are in a safe area away from traffic doesn’t clear you. Make sure your flashers are on so other drivers can see you and so they realize there is a problem with your vehicle.

8. Change your tire ONLY if... you know how to change a tire, have the proper equipment and can do so safely and away from traffic.

9. Being safe must take precedence. Don’t fret about your schedule or anything else that’s on your mind. Changing a tire with traffic whizzing past just isn’t’ worth it. The best option for you might be to get professional help if you are on a busy highway.

10. Hang something white out your window so emergency responders will know that you need help.

11. Don’t stand behind your car or next to your car. Stay in your car and wait for help to arrive if you’re on a busy highway and it is not safe to walk to a secure place.

This pedestrian accident is very sad and unfortunate. We hope these safety tips serve as a reminder and help prevent similar accidents in the future.

Our auto accident attorneys send our sincere condolences to the family of the man who was hit this morning.

Steve Gursten is one of the nation’s top auto accident attorneys. He is head of Michigan Auto Law and has received the highest verdict or pain and suffering settlement in the state for a car accident or truck accident victim in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Mike Petrucci

Related Information:

Michigan safe driving tips

10 things to know if you’ve been injured in a Michigan car accident

What does it take to file an auto accident lawsuit in Michigan?

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. Call (800) 777-0028 for a help from one our auto accident attorneys.

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