Editor’s note: Drivers should only stop on a highway or highway shoulder in the event of a true emergency in which a truck will no longer safely move or a driver is physically unable to drive. Other stops such as rest breaks, swapping drivers or adjusting navigation should only be completed in a safe and legal parking location.
Stopping on a highway or highway shoulder can be dangerous, especially if the road is winding, dark or has poor visibility due to weather conditions. The more visible you and your truck are during an emergency stop, the safer everyone on the road will be.
That’s why it is important to know how to place emergency triangles properly. These little safety triangles may just save a life.
How to set up emergency triangles
The first thing every driver should do when stopped on the traveled portion or shoulder of a highway, especially when putting out emergency triangles, is turn on their four-way flashers. This ensures that your vehicle is more visible to approaching motorists.
Drivers should also always wear reflective gear when putting down and collecting emergency triangles and should carry the triangles so reflective side of the of the warning devices are facing oncoming traffic.
How many reflective triangles should you carry in your truck?
Drivers are required carry three emergency triangles and place them in three locations during a stop.
How far apart should you place reflective triangles?
Emergency triangles must be placed within 10 minutes of stopping and should be kept in the passenger side box so they can be accessed in a way that keeps the driver away from traffic. Triangle placement locations may vary based on the location a driver stops and are spaced out to ensure that other motorists can see a stopped truck from a distance that still allows for a change in lanes or a slowing of speed.
The following are some of the most common emergency triangle placements for truck drivers:
Two Lane (Traffic in both directions and undivided highways)
- One triangle 100 ft. in front of the vehicle, centered in the lane the vehicle occupies.
- One triangle 10 ft. behind the vehicle on the traffic side of the vehicle.
- One triangle 100 ft. behind the vehicle in the center of the lane the vehicle occupies.