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Roadside Flares


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Had a close call last night along the interstate.  Kicking myself in the ass for not setting up cones, but it was a simple grab and go when I got there.  In my mind, at the time, it would be quicker to grab and go than to put the cones out around the curve and then collect them again when I was finished.  I don't generally consider myself lazy, but last night it would have been worth the time it would have taken. Thankfully nothing happened but it could have very easily turned ugly.

 

Thinking about it on the ride home, I decided it was time to get some flares so that I could set them out and not have to go back and collect them.  Just put in an order for $200.00 worth of flares and they will be in the trucks at all times from now on.

 

I am disappointed in myself for not getting these a long time ago and wanted to bring it up here again

 

Stay safe

A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a great friend will ...

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First off, I am happy to hear that your ok and nothing bad came from your "close call".

I am a big fan of flares myself and use them regularly on jobs similar to what you described. Yes, it is an added expense but any smart business man works those types of expenses into their charges. 

The nicest thing about flares in my opinion is they are easilly and quickly deployed, and If the situation really dictates, It is not a big deal if you cant retrieve them. Cones are expensive so they must be retrieved, further exposing you to moronic drivers. I will normally at least put them out and throw them up on the deck, but there are occasions where conditions simply are too risky to retrieve them. L.E. leaves them out all over the place constantly so I dont feel too bad about littering if I cant get them. ( for the record, I know it doesnt make it right.)

Like any other piece of equipment, common sense plays a major factor in their proper use. A couple years back, some knuckle dragger working for a fly by night tow company here threw a freshly extinguished flare up on the deck of his roll back while the wreck he just loaded was puking fuel all over the place... Take a guess at what happened next....

PROFESSIONAL TOWING & RECOVERY IS NOT JUST A JOB.. IT IS A LIFESTYLE

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Flares don't always work either:

Be safe out there.

Trooper Struck While Investigating Crash on I-80

HAMMOND- For the third time in as many weeks, an Indiana State Trooper has been struck while investigating a prior crash. This morning at 4:07 a.m., troopers from the ISP Lowell Post were investigating a multiple vehicle crash on I-80/94 eastbound at the 1.7 mile-marker.  As a result of this crash, the right three lanes were blocked as one of the vehicles stalled and was unable to be moved from the lane.  Preliminary investigation by Sgt. Dwayne Dillahunty and Trooper Nicole Maenza shows that Trooper Jarah Burgin parked his fully marked police car behind the disabled vehicle with its emergency lights activated.   He also placed approximately 30 flares on the roadway to block the lanes.  This is done for several safety reasons, including to alert drivers of the blocked lanes as well as to provide additional warning lighting at the scene.  There were also at least three other police cars at the scene with their emergency lights activated. 

As Trp. Burgin was standing outside of his police car and about to enter it, a tan 2007 Buick disregarded the flares and lighting and struck the 2020 Dodge Charger police car.  The Buick then struck Trp. Burgin, catapulting him into the air and striking the windshield of the Buick before the vehicle eventually stopped.  Trp. Burgin’s handcuffs were lodged in the windshield of the Buick.  Troopers at the scene immediately began to render aid to both Trp. Burgin as well as the driver of the Buick, Jennifer A. Spikes, 35, from Gary, IN.   Both patients were transported to Community Hospital in Munster.  Trp. Burgin sustained serious injuries but is expected to make a full recovery.  As a result of the crash, evidence at the scene led troopers to believe that alcohol may be a factor.  Ms. Spikes was offered field sobriety tests as well as a certified chemical test for intoxication and drugs, but she refused all tests.  A search warrant for a blood draw was requested through the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.  Once approval by a judge was obtained, the search warrant was executed, and a blood draw was completed.  The results of that test are pending. 

Jennifer Spikes was later released from the hospital and transported to the Lake County Jail.  She is preliminary charged with the following:

  • O.W.I. Causing Injury- Level 5 Felony
  • O.W.I. Endangering a Person- Class A Misdemeanor
  • O.W.I. – Class C Misdemeanor
  • Driving While Suspended Causing Injury- Level 6 Felony
  • Failing to Yield to Emergency Vehicle- Infraction

All persons named in this release are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court. All charges mentioned are merely accusations, actual charges will be determined by the Lake County Prosecutor's Office.

 

-30-

BurginBurginState Police section dividersuspect
Stay Connected with the Indiana State Police:

Mark

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Agreed.

NOTHING we can deploy or do is totally 100% fool proof or a gaurantee that no one will come along and run us over. I can honestly say that I dont think anyone on this forum would deny that fact. Hell, There are even reports out there of operators and other emergency workers getting struck on closed roads or totally shut down highways. Usually by worthless drunks such as in the story you have posted. That is not really the point we are trying to make on the subject. 

Unfortunately, the matter of an errant vehicle encroaching on our work site is a realistic risk of the occupation we have chosen. It is the efforts of good operators who work diligently to speed up and streamline their roadside procedures, Never turn their backs to traffic, work the curb side and Always plan an escape route that will make the difference and get these roadside fatality statistics to come down drastically. Not the SDMO laws, Not the DWI/DUI laws, Not increased police presence at scenes Our efforts and persistance to watch our own backs and plan ahead ( Like throwing down a few flares that dont need to be retrieved thus reducing our exposure time drastically ) will ultimately save lives... Our Lives...  

PROFESSIONAL TOWING & RECOVERY IS NOT JUST A JOB.. IT IS A LIFESTYLE

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I bought the 15 minute flares without the wire stand and I am not going to worry too much about retrieving them.  Once they burn out, there will be nothing left but the ash and maybe some paper, I am not going to ruin the planet.

Dad used to use them years ago but we got away from them when the free supply dried up, but not any more, I will have them on each truck.

 

Last night I was on a long sweeping curve up against the guard rail, plenty of room.  Visibility, in hindsight was not as good as I thought.  I had it up on the deck and was at the controls, I only have left side controls, Two trucks coming in the hammer lane, one car in the right lane with a truck coming up behind it.  Car slowed, truck was bearing down on it blowing the horn, I dove under the bed and under the guard rails but the truck got it slowed down in time.  I didn't wait around to see how close it actually was, but all I smelled was brakes after they go by.

 

If I had had the cones out or the flares, it would have given them a heads up sooner.

 

 

I also agree, there is no full proof to make us completely safe, and the drunks are always going to be a problem.    

A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a great friend will ...

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14 hours ago, Stubborn66 said:

I bought the 15 minute flares without the wire stand and I am not going to worry too much about retrieving them.  Once they burn out, there will be nothing left but the ash and maybe some paper, I am not going to ruin the planet.

Dad used to use them years ago but we got away from them when the free supply dried up, but not any more, I will have them on each truck.

 

Last night I was on a long sweeping curve up against the guard rail, plenty of room.  Visibility, in hindsight was not as good as I thought.  I had it up on the deck and was at the controls, I only have left side controls, Two trucks coming in the hammer lane, one car in the right lane with a truck coming up behind it.  Car slowed, truck was bearing down on it blowing the horn, I dove under the bed and under the guard rails but the truck got it slowed down in time.  I didn't wait around to see how close it actually was, but all I smelled was brakes after they go by.

 

If I had had the cones out or the flares, it would have given them a heads up sooner.

 

 

I also agree, there is no full proof to make us completely safe, and the drunks are always going to be a problem.    

 

IMO, this is the best reason to take the extra minute or so to put cones or flares out. As I say time after time, the drivers cannot move over or slow down for you if they do not have adequate warning that you are there. I've seen it myself, a tower on the side of the road at night with no vest, no cones, no flares, and the lightbar either blocked by the disabled car or facing the ground. You cannot see them until you're right on top of them, giving you zero time to react. Again, if you want them to move they have to see you in enough time to react. 

 

Cones and flares are not going to get 100% of people to move over for you, but it's a big help in getting them to. An added benefit is if you do unfortunately get struck, you have your best defense laid out behind you. No lawyer in the world will be able to defend their client by using the excuse "I couldn't see him" because you were have taken every precaution you could. I tell my drivers that the vests and cones are less to save them from being hit and more to save their families should God forbid they do get hit. 

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We carry Buyers Products LED flares on all of our heavies and a few of our light duty trucks, to supplement cones during inclement weather and at night. They are extremely fast to setup as you can just shove them in your pockets, and with the case they all charge at once which is a nice feature.

Buyers Products 8891018 6 pack Rechargable LED Emergency Road Strobe/Flare:  Automotive - Amazon.com

 

 

I've also made a couple of these cones now for myself and a few coworkers. I saw a company selling something similar for almost $300 and decided I could make my own significantly cheaper. For under $100 I threw these together. They also work tremendously well on getting people to slow down when setup as the first cone of a taper, or by themselves and a sort of advanced warning device. (I need to get more pictures/videos of them actually in use)

 

 

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Edited by Animosus

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