How To: Stay Safe on the Streets


McKaley Williams

My personal car after the October accident.

McKaley Williams, Staff Writer and Website Manager

From my own personal experience, being careful doesn’t always protect you on the road. There are many factors that can contribute to automotive problems, however, there are also many measures that can keep you safe while driving.


In October, I learned the hard way about the dangers present on the road when a raccoon ran out in front of my car and drastically changed the appearance of my vehicle. While not all situations are the same, these tips may be able to help you in the event of an issue on the road or to prevent one from occurring in the first place.

  1. According to, “If you see an animal approaching, slow down and flash your lights repeatedly.” This is especially important to remember on windy backroads without a lot of light.
  2. If you are involved in a collision with another driver, make sure to exchange insurance information. If you’re underage, give them your parent or legal guardian’s phone number as well. Depending on the circumstance, you should also call the police to report the accident.
  3. After any kind of accident, be sure to take pictures if you’re able. These could be used to help your insurance settle a claim.
  4. If you ever feel uncomfortable, such as if you feel like you’re being followed, pull over into a parking lot with quite a bit of activity and call the police. Don’t get out of your vehicle and be sure that all doors are locked.
  5. Be sure to know the number of a towing service in the event of a vehicle breakdown. According to, a well known towing company, if you break down on the side of the highway, you should know how to read mile markers so you can indicate your location to the towing company. This will help them find you much faster.
  6. If your car is obstructing a roadway in an accident, turn your hazards on to alert other drivers that you’re there. Also, step as far away from the street as you can. This could save your life in the event of another collision.
  7. Always park with your emergency brake. According to, “stop your car with your primary brakes, set the emergency brake and then place your car in park before turning off your engine.” Doing so gives your car a stronger sense of stability and can also help to ensure that your emergency brakes are working properly in the event of you having to actually use them.
  8. Paying insurance each month can seem like a pain if you pay for it yourself. However,
  9. in the event that something happens to your car, it can save you from having to pay for damages out of your own pocket.
  10. If you’re lost in an unfamiliar area and are unable to use GPS or call someone for help, stop at a gas station or convenience store and ask for assistance.
  11. If your car happens to be totaled, make sure you get the tow truck company’s information so you can go to the yard and collect your belongings (if you are unable to do this at the scene of the accident.)


Driving can be scary. Taking small precautionary steps, or even big steps, at the scene of an accident can keep you from getting into a bad situation. Don’t forget. Cars can be replaced, but your life cannot.