Department of Transportation wants folks to know what to do when their
vehicle becomes disabled.
Every motorist has
the responsibility to be safe,” INDOT said in a statement released today.
“Safe driving includes behaviors while operating a vehicle as well as
properly maintaining a safe vehicle and knowing what to do in an emergency.”
can be dangerous for pedestrians, motorists involved in crashes and
breakdowns need to be knowledgeable about how to safely respond,” INDOT
noted. “Most drivers are likely to experience this kind of situation at some
point, and it is impossible to establish recommendations for all conditions.
However, it is important that all motorists make good choices to prevent
What to do if your
vehicle is disabled:
* If removing a
vehicle from traffic is not safe or possible, or if people are injured,
immediately call 911.
* The safest place
is off the roadway--especially on busy interstates. If possible, safely
attempt to reach an exit ramp or shoulder and get as far away from moving
traffic as is safely possible.
* Stay in the
vehicle, remain buckled up, turn on flashing lights, and call for help.
If anyone decides
to exit the vehicle:
* Stay as far away
from traffic as possible.
* Put your parked
car between you and moving traffic.
* Do not turn your
back to oncoming vehicles.
* Always be aware
of your surroundings.
* If you and your
passengers decide to leave the vehicle, leave a note on the dashboard
explaining what happened and include contact information.
In the case of a
fenderbender, move vehicles to the shoulder. “INDOT and the Indiana State
Police want motorists to be safe and keep traffic moving smoothly on busy
highways,” INDOT said. “When crashes block traffic, it increases the risk of
secondary crashes. If possible, move minor collisions off the roadway or to
“Indiana law states
that drivers involved in crashes that do not result in injury or death shall
not obstruct traffic more than necessary,” INDOT added. “Off the roadway or
on a shoulder is a much safer place to exchange information or wait for
help. Don't worry: your insurance coverage will not be compromised if you
move your vehicle to the shoulder.”
Move Over for
To protect lives,
Indiana's Move Over Law requires motorists to approach cautiously when an
emergency vehicle is stopped with emergency lights flashing. Change lanes
away from the emergency vehicle if you can do so safely. If not, reduce your
speed 10 miles per hour under the posted speed limit and proceed with
include police vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks and rescue equipment,
highway incident-response and maintenance vehicles, utility-service
vehicles, and tow trucks.
“Violating the law
can result in a fine and your license will be suspended up to two years if
you cause damage to emergency equipment, injury, or death to an emergency
worker,” INDOT said.
Indiana's Move Over Laws state that motorists must move over and yield for
only emergency vehicles, drivers should always be courteous to those who are
broken down on the shoulder,” INDOT noted. “Give them room so that they can
safely repair their vehicles. Be an attentive and courteous driver and help
Crashes are no
Each year, more
than 800 people lose their lives in crashes on Indiana roadways. Most of
those crashes were caused by impaired driving, speeding, and aggressive or
distracted driving. The following safety tips can help prevent the most
common fatal errors drivers make and help drivers reach their destinations
* Buckle up. Make
sure you and your passengers are properly restrained.
* Never drive
impaired. Avoid alcohol and drugs. Use a designated driver.
distractions: smartphones, audio devices and radio, and food and beverages.
defensively. Aggressive drivers take unnecessary risks and often cause
Share the road.
Look out for pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, and commercial trucks.
For more safe
driving tips, visit