Accident in the tunnel – How to behave
In the event of accidents in tunnels, it is particularly important to behave correctly.
Source: picture alliance / dpa / sab
It is the horror of every driver: an accident, a breakdown or a traffic jam in a tunnel. Should this emergency occur, it is important to know how to act.
P.Before the start of the holiday, many holidaymakers make their way south again and pass through the numerous tunnels in the low mountain ranges and the Alps by car. Most drivers have a queasy feeling about it. It’s narrow, dark, loud, and it often smells of exhaust fumes. Oncoming traffic is only a few centimeters away from your own vehicle.
Above all, however, the feeling of being locked in is troublesome for many people. Studies show that the risk of accidents in road tunnels is low. Nevertheless, you should know how to behave properly in the tunnel and what to do should an accident occur or a fire break out.
The ADAC advises switching the radio to traffic frequency before driving into the tunnel, as instructions for further behavior can be given on this frequency. Since the exhaust gases accumulate in the tunnel, it is also advisable to switch the ventilation to recirculation.
The speed limits must be strictly adhered to – and don’t be surprised that they can change again in the tunnel. The safety distance is also important: for cars at least 50 meters, for trucks at least 100 meters, in the Montblanc tunnel even 150 meters are required.
Pay attention to escape signs
In the event of a traffic jam, accident or breakdown in the tunnel, there are important rules of conduct that drivers should observe: Toxic gases develop quickly in the tunnel, so it is essential to close the windows and switch off the engine in a traffic jam. Anyone involved in an accident should try to drive the car to the nearest breakdown bay.
If that is no longer possible, do not get out of the car and push it, but park as far to the right as possible and switch off the engine. Because the risk of being run over is high, as there are usually no hard shoulders in tunnels.
It is also important to leave the key in the socket after leaving the car. Otherwise rescue workers will not be able to recover the car and will be hindered in their work.
Nowadays, almost every meter in modern tunnels is monitored by video so that a vehicle fire, for example, can be detected early. If something happens, drivers should pay attention to loudspeaker announcements if possible. The rescue services provide information about this in an emergency and give important instructions on how to behave.
Walk close to the wall
Due to the pulling effect, fire can spread particularly quickly. If your own car is on fire, you should try to put out the fire. If that doesn’t work, illuminated escape signs show the way out.
Due to the rapid development of smoke, orientation is often difficult despite emergency lighting. Here it helps to run close to the wall. This way you can get to the exit faster.
Drivers should also pay attention to the following: In the event of a breakdown or a fire, the emergency services should be informed via the emergency call stations and not via the mobile phone. Emergency call stations are set up every 150 meters and have the advantage that the call can be located immediately.
The emergency services then know exactly where in the tunnel the accident happened or the fire broke out and can better coordinate the rescue operation.
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