Closings & Delays across the Tennessee Valley

How to stay safe when stuck on the side of the road

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- We see it all the time, a car stuck on the side of the road, and its driver waiting for help.

"If you want to help somebody, make sure you're aware of what's going on in your surroundings at all times due to the fact it is a dangerous situation," said Michael Lapp, owner of Lapdog Towing and Recovery.

It's a dangerous situation in which preparation can make all the difference. Lapp said, "Whoever's on the side of the road needs to have a flashing light of some sort. You could buy a little flashlight, turn your cellphone on, something that's going to show a little lighting to draw attention to you."

Lapp said you can go pretty much anywhere to buy a safety vest to keep in your car.

"They need to be wearing something with high [visibility]

like I'm wearing right now, because this really stands out in the nighttime when headlights hit it. It gives somebody an opportunity to see somebody. Don't wear dark clothing," he explained.

There's never really a good place to pull over on the side of the road, especially at night or in low lit areas.

"If it's not in a safe area, get out of the vehicle and stand in the tree line and call for assistance, " said Lapp.

He also recommends calling the police to come sit by you while you wait for help to come. And, he wants to remind the public that tow trucks are also considered emergency vehicles, and to heed the Move Over law.

"The Move Over law, it gives us an opportunity to do what we're doing and do our jobs safely to be able to go home to our families," said Lapp.