A roadside breakdown on a highway is an emergency situation that every driver fears. While you should always do your best to avoid a breakdown by keeping up with routine maintenance, the truth is that all it takes is one broken hose or flat tire to leave you stuck on the side of the road. If a breakdown happens, then don’t panic. You can follow these steps to stay safe while you wait for the towing and recovery service.
Find a Safe Place to Park
In most cases, you should have enough time to get your car to the side of the road. At the first sign of trouble, turn on the hazard flashers and maneuver your car to a safe place to park. If possible, try to stay with the flow of traffic until you have made it to the shoulder. Ideally, the parking space should be located in an area that is easily accessible to the recovery truck.
Stay in Your Vehicle
Once you park your car, avoid the temptation to get out of the vehicle. Unfortunately, other drivers may not realize that you are pulled over on the side of the road or slick conditions could cause them to run into you. You are safest in your car with the seatbelt fastened and the doors locked, so try to remain in this position until the tow crew arrives. If you must get out of your vehicle such as to put out an engine fire, then exit through the door that is the furthest away from the road.
Alert Others to Your Distress
Your next step is to increase the visibility of your car to other drivers on the road. Keep the hazard flashers on, and turn on the interior dome light to make it easier to see your car. You can also use items from your roadside emergency kit to increase visibility. For instance, flares or reflectors can be placed on the street around your vehicle so that other drivers notice your presence.
Avoid Accepting Help From Strangers
The world is full of kind people, and you may discover that other drivers stop to offer their assistance. While this is always a sweet gesture, you must keep in mind that your safety is a priority. If you must speak to someone who stops, then roll your window down just enough to communicate. Then, let them know that you have already called for help to be on the way. This also ensures that only a reputable auto repair company works on your car so that a well-meaning person does not create bigger problems with a faulty repair.
Call for Professional Assistance
The highway is not a safe place to perform major car repairs. For this reason, it is always best to arrange for a towing and recovery service to transport your car to the repair shop. There, proper repairs can be made so that you can avoid having another roadside catastrophe happen.
The realization that your car is breaking down is enough to send anyone into a panic. Fortunately, you now know exactly how to handle every driver’s worst nightmare. By staying calm, keeping safe and calling for help, you can quickly get your car back into good operating condition.