Car breakdowns can happen when you least expect it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. Here are some keys pointers to keep in mind so you’re prepared, if and when the time comes.
1. Get Your Car Out of Traffic
Your very first concern has to be to get yourself and your car to safety. If you have time and your car’s struggling along, then attempt to find a route with a lot of straight roads to prevent problems with curves. Even if the engine cuts out while you’re driving, you can generally still guide the car to the side of the roadway while cruising. Attempt to get it as far off the the roadside as possible.
It isn’t always feasible to get your car out of the roadway though, for example in rush hour traffic. If this happens, don’t attempt to push your car across the lanes of the busy traffic. Instead, turn on your hazard lights and call 911 instantly. The police will send someone to direct traffic and get your car out of harms way as quickly as possible.
2. Make Your Car Noticeable
You want to make your car as noticeable as possible to avoid any further accidents. Turn on your hazard lights regardless of whether it is day or night. At night though, these can make it appear like your car is still moving, so turn on your interior light for additional exposure.
If it’s safe for you to get out of your vehicle, there are other things you can do to increase exposure. If you have them, make use of flares or hazard triangles spaced out behind your car. It’s also a really good idea to raise the hood to let other know that you’re in difficulty.
3. Call For Assistance
If you have roadside protection, then you need to call them, or call somebody who can contact the service. If your car is in a dangerous position on the road, then your first call should be to the police to let them know where you are and so they can get a nearby patrol car to you as soon as possible. Not everyone has roadside service, though. In that case, then you should call a mobile mechanic or towing company to come out and help you.
Virtually everyone has a mobile phone nowadays, but in case you do not have one or do not have service, you need to try to find emergency roadside call boxes. If there’s one within simple sight of your automobile, then you should utilize it. Otherwise, stick with your vehicle up until either somebody stops to help, or you can flag a passing motorist down to see if you can use their mobile phone.
4. Stay With Your Car
Once you’ve called for help, you must remain with your car up until assistance arrives. If there’s a place of shelter on the side of the road then you should wait there, but keep your vehicle within your eyesight. If there is no shelter and traffic isn’t too heavy, then remain in your car with your seat-belt on.
Even if you haven’t called for help, you should, if possible, stay with your vehicle, and wait for someone to pass by so you can get help. Of course if you’re in remote areas where you could be waiting hours or days for a passerby, may mean you need to go and seek help. But if your planned route is to take you into the wilderness, or areas of heavy snow, you should always be well prepared before your journey begins just in case you do breakdown in the middle of nowhere and need to survive for a days until any adverse weather you might find yourself in passes by!