Waiting for a Tow Truck? Here’s How to Use Road Flares Properly

When your car has broken down or was struck by another vehicle, the last thing you want is for it to get hit again. While you’re waiting for the tow truck after dark, you can set up road flares to enhance visibility and alert oncoming traffic to the potential hazard. Road flares are a must-have in every driver’s emergency kit. And don’t forget to turn on your car’s hazard lights too!

Know your options.

You can purchase traditional hazard flares at any auto supply shop. Some drivers prefer to purchase newer, battery-powered flares. If you choose this option, the set-up will be easier, but you run the risk of running out of batteries. Always include the right size of batteries in your emergency kit.

Find the right place to set up the flares.

Road flares should be placed on a level surface. Use multiple flares for optimum effect. Place the first one about 15 feet behind your vehicle. Place the second one about 30 feet behind it. Depending on how many flares you have, you may want to put a third one behind that. If your car is just ahead of a tight curve in the road, then you’ll definitely need a flare around the bend to alert oncoming traffic. If you’re on a two-lane road with oncoming traffic, it’s also helpful to place a flare or two ahead of your car. This lets oncoming drivers know that there is a hazard in the road, and that they should slow down.

Turn the flare on safely.

If you use battery-powered flares, just press the button to turn them on. Traditional flares should be used cautiously, as they can cause burn injuries. First, remove the cap. Then, strike the end of the flare with the cap, just as if you were lighting a match. Make sure there isn’t any flammable material near the spot where you’re placing the flare, and always ensure the flares are out before you leave the area.

Barnett’s Towing has been helping stranded drivers in Tucson and throughout Arizona for over 50 years. Call us at (800) 722-2302 around the clock.