Sometimes at night, in certain critical contexts, the warning triangle and hazard lights may not be enough to make you perfectly visible. Furthermore, when you are the victim of an unfortunate breakdown at night, so that other motorists have better visibility of your car, the retroreflective vest is usually the most appropriate solution to adopt. Find out why it will save you a lot of trouble.
No one is safe from a night breakdown!
Many drivers prefer to drive at night. Of course, there are some advantages, but also some disadvantages. In itself, driving at night is quite dangerous: visibility is not as good as in daylight, you have to have excellent vision and make sure you don’t fall asleep on the road. Be that as it may, every driver must be prepared to act in the event of a possible breakdown that forces him to stop. Sudden engine failure, dead battery, flat tire, accident… the reasons can be many. Obviously, in such a situation, for your own safety, that of the passengers, but also to protect other motorists, you should immediately report that the car has broken down. Also, usually when you park your vehicle on the side of the road, you immediately tell other drivers that you have a problem by activating your hazard warning lights and installing your warning triangle. However, in the middle of the night and in certain extreme contexts, this may not be enough. To avoid the slightest danger, it would be better to always have a reflective vest on hand.
What is a retroreflective vest and what is it for?
Commonly called a yellow vest, high visibility vest or even a fluorescent vest, it is a protective garment that must be approved and contain the CE (European Community) marking. Thanks to its 4 reflective stripes, it acts exactly as a warning signal in an emergency situation, in the event of an accident or possible vehicle breakdown. Some drivers may not know it, but the CSR (Interministerial Road Safety Committee) has made retroreflective vests mandatory in all cars since February 13, 2008. Therefore, you must always carry it in your vehicle, in which case you will be subject. to a fine.
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Generally, when you have a breakdown on the road, in the middle of the night, you try to park the car in the lower part (if possible in an area with good visibility). You immediately turn on your hazard lights and get out of the vehicle to place the triangle. Unfortunately, if there is a lot of wind and bad weather in the area, visibility is immediately less good, and the triangle can tip over and even hit another car. Therefore, as a safety measure, it is essential to wear a reflective vest. Make sure you always have it in the car to deal with any kind of dangerous situation. Ideally, it would even be smarter to have one for each seat in the car, so passengers can be armed with it.
When to wear this vest? Day or night, when you stop for an emergency, whatever the situation, you should first put on this vest before you even get out of the vehicle. If you have a second handy, you can even roll down the window and tie it to the mirror in a simple knot so the car is clearly visible. Don’t forget to turn on the hazard lights and install the warning triangle. All of these safety measures will help warn other drivers of your presence on the road.
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Car breakdown: tips to follow for your own safety
- Try to push the car until you are on the right track. This way, once the repairs are finished, it will be easier for you to check the traffic situation to get back on the road safely.
- This is a dangerous situation: you are on the highway or a busy street, the car engine suddenly stops running, and you have no chance of pushing the car to safety. In this case, do not get out of the car. Crossing a road on foot is very dangerous. If it’s too dark outside, turn on your interior lights and hazard lights so you’ll be much more visible. If the engine is still running, turn it off so you don’t run out of battery. And wait for the crane to come to your rescue.
- Do you have a flat tire? To be safe, don’t try to change it unless you can get to the side of the road and the tire is facing away from traffic.
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