Breakdowns can happen at any time. The good news is that there are emergency roadside assistance services that can help you get your car to a safe place. It usually takes some time for the technician to reach you and you may find yourself with time to kill as you wait for assistance. There are some things that you can do to keep you and your car safe as you wait.
Steps to take when the car breaks down
- Pull over to the side of the road, if you can not pull over stay inside your car and lock the doors
- Turn your 4-way hazard to make your car identifiable to fellow motorists and emergency services
- Set reflective triangles at intervals behind your car to alert oncoming traffic
- You can also use emergency flares to keep your car visible
- Wear reflective jackets or bright clothing if you have to step out of your car
- Keep the car locked
- Be alert always and keep safe
Move the car out of the way
If at all possible move the car to the right-hand shoulder. This should be the first thing you do to prevent slowing moving traffic or causing an accident. If the right shoulder has a sharp drop off or is inaccessible, move the car to the left-hand shoulder. Move the car as far away from traffic as possible.
If you are on in an area that has buildings or malls then the best thing would be to pull over into a brightly lit parking area if at all possible. Remember to leave enough space for the technician to be able to access your car and tow it to a nearby service station if necessary.
If the car loses power and stops in the middle of bumper to bumper traffic it may be impossible to pull over to either the right or left shoulder. If this happens to you, do not risk another accident by trying to push the car to the side. Instead get inside the car, turn on the 4-way hazard and wait for emergency services while inside the car.
Stay visible to other motorists
After pulling over the next step is to ensure that you are visible to other motorists. As mentioned earlier the first thing to do is to turn on the 4-way hazard to make your car visible to oncoming traffic. It also makes it easier for the emergency services to identify your car. If the area has little lighting or the hazards are not working you can use a road flare as another form of emergency lighting.
Many modern vehicles include reflective triangles in the emergency kit. Set them down in intervals of 10, 100 and 200 feet behind your car. This gives the other motorist sufficient advance warning of where your has broken down. So even before you experience a vehicular breakdown, check that you have three reflective triangles in your car, they will come in handy.
If you have to get out of your car for any reason make sure that you are visible to other motorists. The best way to do this is by wearing a reflective safety jacket especially if you have dark clothing on. If you do not have access to a safety jacket then make sure to remove any dark clothes and keep only brightly colored pieces.
Keep yourself safe
When waiting for emergency roadside assistance it would easy for you to pass the time on your phone or any device. However, you want to remain alert to your surroundings for any signs of danger. For your own personal safety lock the car doors until help arrives. It is best to keep them locked until an official emergency response arrives.
If there is any danger in staying in your car then you have to move to a safe distance away from the vehicle. Once outside be sure to put on only bright clothing and stay alert as you wait for roadside assistance.
These tips will help keep yourself, your car and other motorists safe until assistance arrives.