Proper Way To Set Up Emergency Road Reflectors

When something happens on the road and you’re stranded or stuck, it’s important you make sure people can see your vehicle. While cars and trucks come with options such as emergency flashers, sometimes those lights just don’t work due to a malfunction on the vehicle. That’s when you have to deploy your emergency kit, which should consist of reflectors and emergency flares.


Most emergency road reflectors are relatively simple pieces of equipment. The reflectors are either a triangle that sits on a pole attached to a base, or two triangles that snap outward to support each other. The first thing you should do is take out all of your emergency road reflectors and put them together so they’re ready to be deployed. You should be off to the side of the road or inside your vehicle while you’re assembling the reflectors. Spend as little time as possible in the road. If your reflectors light up, turn on that function before leaving your vehicle.

Set Up

Once your road reflectors are assembled, it’s time to set them up in the road. Make sure the reflectors form a defensive cordon around your vehicle, giving other drivers plenty of time to get out of the way once they see the reflectors. Place the first one roughly 50 to 100 feet back (the faster the speed limit on the road and the worse the weather, the more space you want to give other drivers). Then place the other reflectors at regular intervals on the way back to your vehicle, moving the reflectors a little further out onto the road each time. If other drivers follow the line you’ve created, they should pass by your car mostly in the second lane of traffic.

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Additional Equipment

If there is a lot of wind, or if it’s raining on the roadway ,consider weighing down your emergency road reflectors. This keeps them from being blown away or turning around so the reflectors no longer face oncoming drivers. Keep small sandbags in your vehicle just for this purpose. In addition to emergency reflectors, you may want to set up emergency road flares. The flares will run out, but they can be seen much farther away in the dark by other drivers. Using flares and reflectors only increases your chances of being seen.