Tips For The Roadside: Using Road Flares

The worst time to experience an accident or a car breakdown is at night, when visibility is low and the emergency lights on your vehicle are simply not enough. Although many emergency driving kits include road flares, few drivers actually know how to use them properly. We urge you to take a few minutes to learn how to operate road flares, for they’ll keep you safe the next time your car breaks down in the middle of the night.

Lighting a Road Flare in 7 Steps

1.    Choose a Location: Always choose a location for your flare before you actually light it. Avoid placing your flare near vegetation or grass. A level, paved surface works best. It is recommended that you place multiple flares approximately 50-100 feet in front of and in back of your vehicle. This will make it easier for the tow truck driver to spot you. Additional tip:  Use red-color flares—they stand out better and are commonly used in emergencies.

2.    Remove the cap or lid: Gently twist off or pull the cap, exposing the ignition surface. You’ll need the cap to light the flare, so make sure to save it.

3.    Hold the flare away from your face and body: With your body turned against the wind, grasp the middle of the flare and avoid touching the ignition surface at the end.

4.    Light the flare as you would a match: Run the end of the flare against the coarse surface of the cap. Use the same brisk motion as you would when lighting a match.

5.    Carry the lighted flare pointing downwards: In order to avoid burning your hand with dripping residue, always carry the lighted flare pointed downwards—away from your hair and clothing.

6.    Place the cap on the other end of the flare (the end that is not burning).

7.    Gently place the flare on the ground: Make sure not to drop the flare, for this may cause it to roll or break.

We hope that these directions will help you the next time you need to use road flares. Be sure to check our blog regularly for more useful roadside tips.

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