Doug and Cassi Glass wrote:
Let me give you my two cents worth after 33 years on the CHP.
We used tons of flares and they work GREAT if you know how to deploy them. While they can be used to move traffic away from you, if the pattern is wrong it will actually funnel traffic right into your vehicle.
At freeway speeds a flare pattern has to be several hundred feet long to work effectively. Way more than 3 or four flares.
Assuming you put out your 3 30 minutes flares in a pattern, what do you do when they all burn out? 30 minute flares last about 20 minutes and 20 minute flares last about 13-14 minutes.
Lighting flares is dangerous and the glowing embers that shoot out when striking them can blind you. ALWAYS turn your head to the side.
1. Don't throw the cap away.
2. Stick it on the butt end of the flare.
3. The little tit in the cap keeps the flare from rolling off the road.
There are actually two caps, a small, thin one that protects the striker. Throw the little one away.
4. Take the big cap off and hold it firmly at arm's length.
5. FIRMLY swipe the end of the flare that was covered by the cap across the cap AWAY from your face. It's like striking a big kitchen match.
6. Don't kept the molten material drop on you. It will instantly destroy your shoe.
7. Gently lay the flare on the ground. If you throw it they pop a spew crud everywhere.
8. If you have to put one out, gab it by the butt end and stub it out like a big cigarette.
All that being said, buy, carry and use the triangles. They're safer, more effective day or night, reusable, and don't burn out like flares.
I'LL SHOUT THIS LAST TIDBIT. IF YOU EVER ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO GET OUT ALONG SIDE ANY BUSY ROAD NEVER, EVER TURN YOUR BACK TO TRAFFIC FOR A SECOND. Have a spotter who is standing toward the front of the vehicle so they are facing traffic going in your direction as it approaches so they can warn you of impending danger.
Best advice is limp off the freeway. Most likely reason for stopping is a flat tire and it is already ruined so drive off slowly to a safe spot.
Flares don't last forever in your trunk. They get bad after 2-3 years so don't expect those you bought 15 years ago to burn or even light. We used to get quite a few duds out of new boxes.