You don’t “plan” to be stranded on the side of the road. But let’s face it, Alberta has a lot of open road to explore. And the more we drive, the higher our chances of needing roadside help. Especially with the amount of daily traffic on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway (QE2) between Edmonton and Calgary, towing or roadside assistance are sometimes your only options. Here are some tips to make sure you’re safe while help is on the way.
Get Out of the Way
The speed limit on major highways in Alberta is 110 km/h, which makes it extremely hard for other motorists to make quick decisions. Consider your own safety first and get as far away from the rest of the traffic as possible.
- Some highway shoulders are pretty narrow, so it’s safer to stop in a designated rest area.
- When that’s not an option, pull over on the shoulder of the road as far as safely possible.
Remain VisibleMake sure other drivers know you’re there. Turn on your hazard lights as a signal of your distress. If and when you feel safe, carefully set up a warning sign, flares, or a caution triangle from your roadside emergency kit to let other drivers and your roadside rescue truck know you’re there. People often associate these items with collisions, so they’ll instinctively drive more cautiously.
Watch Your BackPassing traffic can’t always manoeuvre into other lanes. It’s safer to stay in the car, but if you have to get out do so on the shoulder (passenger) side to avoid more potential incidents. Keep your kids and pets safe by ensuring they are buckled in the car. You don’t want them darting out in traffic.
Be PatientOnce you’re safely out of the way and visible, call for roadside help and wait patiently inside the vehicle. It’s warmer and safer in the car than it is on the side of the road, so trust that help is on the way.
Use Your Roadside Emergency KitYou’ve been saving it for a rainy day — today is that day. Your roadside emergency kit should include, among other things, water, protein bars and blankets. Make a list of the perishable items you use and replace them as soon as you’re back to safety.
Our roadside assistance team responds to around 500,000 emergency roadside calls a year, for battery boosts, tire changes, and towing across Alberta. Our Edmonton and Calgary tow trucks receive the most calls, but remember that an emergency can happen anywhere. On highways, side roads, city streets and even in your own garage. Stay safe, no matter where you break down.