A car breakdown can be an awkward adventure on its best day, and a dangerous experience on its worst, especially if you’re in an unacquainted area or are uncertain as to the precise mechanical problem. Although car trouble is inevitable, knowing what to do once your car has broken down is essential. Not only can you protect yourself and the occupants of the vehicle, the chances of additional damage to your car are significantly reduced. In the event of a breakdown, it is important to stay calm and do the following:
- Get your vehicle off the road
Unless the automobile was already stationery, get it off the road as swiftly but safely as possible. Switch on your hazard light immediately so as to forewarn other drivers of your car troubles. If feasible, move your automobile to the side of the road. Preferably the right side. Of primary importance however, is your well-being. Accordingly, if you’re unable to make it off the highway, stay put. This might result in traffic pileup or perchance another accident but is amply much safer than attempting to cross the freeway on foot. Nonetheless, a moving vehicle’s momentum is enough to get it roadside, whereby you should promptly engage the emergency brake, take the car out of gear, and rotate the steering wheel away from the road. This ensures the vehicle will not inadvertently roll out onto advancing traffic.
- Call for Assistance
If you feel there’s a realistic chance something can be done to promptly get your vehicle back on the road, explore it. Call that friend or mechanic who is conversant enough with your car to diagnose its problems. This is a key step as it provides an alternative opinion before expensive decisions are made. If your vehicle still won’t start, it’s time to call the tow truck service.
- Alert other Drivers
If safe to exit your car, adorn your reflective jacket and place a flare or hazard triangle 50 feet behind your vehicle, to give fellow motorists sufficient warning. In addition, raising the hood is also advisable, as hazard lights simply don’t adequately convey the message, - Car trouble. An automobile on the roadside with a popped hood is the universal symbol of a broken down vehicle.
- Remain in your Vehicle
As mentioned earlier, your safety is the chief concern. Consequently, standing beside your car by the roadside is exceedingly dangerous. Roads are hazardous places for individuals on foot, particularly highways. Additionally, if you’ve summoned any roadside service, they generally can’t proceed absent the driver. Thus, it is important to stay with the car, specifically inside it. If absolutely necessary that you leave the vehicle, tie a cloth around the door handle, code that you’ll eventually return to your car.
These steps are intended to significantly reduce the amount of time spent on the roadside. If you’re in a safe place with an abundance of time, letting your car cool might just be the remedy, as opposed to the tow truck services.