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Leagally Speaking

Breakdown Safety Tips

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07/01/2010 - It seems we confused some of our readers last month. We started running a series of inspirational stories about other attorneys who have overcome certain life difficulties. Because of the article layout, it appeared that the story was autobiographical. Let us be clear: These stories are NOT about R. Michael Shickich.

We'll be running additional inspirational stories in the future, but for this month here are some safety tips as you travel around our beautiful state and country this summer.



Summer is the time many of us head out on the highway, enjoying the freedom of traveling without having to worry about poor road conditions from snow and ice. Even when the roads are less of a concern, most of us at some point will have to deal with a car that has broken down. Whether the problem is a simple flat tire or something more serious, here are some safety tips for handling a breakdown:

• If you notice a problem with your car while driving, REMAIN CALM. Keeping a level head is the most important thing in any emergency.

• Be sure to steer to a safe spot before stopping. Park the car as far from the flow of traffic as you can before getting out to check on the problem.

• If you cannot fix the problem, it is usually safer to stay with your car than to set out on foot, especially in an area with which you are not familiar. Use a cell phone to call for help or wait for the police to pass by…this is why they call them patrol officers.

• Carry flares and reflectors to mark your location on the side of the road at night, and be sure to turn on your car's hazard lights any time you stop beside a roadway.

• If the problem is something you can repair, move to a safe place before trying to fix it. The cost of replacing a flat tire or even your wheel rim is minor, especially when compared to the cost of a serious injury.

• If you have to drive in severe weather or in a remote area, consider putting together an emergency kit. Items such as a blanket, nonperishable food, and water can make all the difference if you break down far from help.


R. Michael Shickich is the founder of the Injury Law Firm located in Casper. The focus of his practice is personal injury and wrongful death cases.

The Wyoming State Bar does not certify any lawyer as a specialist or expert. Anyone considering a lawyer should independently investigate the lawyer's credentials and ability, and not rely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise.

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