What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down on the Highway

An average of 610 people are killed each year on the shoulder of the highway. Yet, when your car breaks down, the shoulder is where you want to be.

Read on to learn what to do if your car breaks down. We will cover the safety precautions you can take to keep you and others safe.

Don’t Panic & Get Off the Road

Do you know what to do if your car breaks down? It can be a frightening experience. But it’s important to make the right decisions to keep you and other drivers safe.

First of all, don’t panic. Regardless of what goes wrong, you usually have time to react calmly.

Do not slam on your breaks or jerk the steering wheel. Instead, take your foot off the gas. If possible, steer your car to the right-side shoulder of the road. If that works, see if you can get into a side street or parking lot.

As you begin to make your way out of traffic, put on your hazard lights so other drivers are aware that you are trying to get to safety quickly.

The best thing you can do is get your car as far from the roadway as possible. This helps prevent rear-end collisions and bottleneck traffic.

Take a Moment to Breathe

When your car is safely parked. Take a moment to collect your breath. You might be shaking or have a surge of adrenaline.

Take a moment to inhale and exhale deeply before doing anything else. It is OK to take a moment to gather your thoughts and make a plan for the next steps.

Make Your Car Visible

Being on the side of the road opens you up to risks of being hit. Other drivers can’t always see a car on the side of the road, especially at night or in poor visibility.

If you have road flares, carefully place one behind your vehicle. This will make you visible to other cars. Another option is orange cones or triangles.

If you don’t have any of those, pop open your trunk. If you have a bright shirt or sweater, place it over the open trunk of your car.

Call for Help

Once you have your car visible and off the road, it’s time to call for help. Call a local towing company.

Tip for next time: program the phone number into you phone so you can easily pull it up in an emergency.

Give the agent on the phone detailed directions of where you are so they can find you sooner.

At this point, you may want to call work and tell them what happened. Or call your family and have someone come to pick you up.

Pack an Emergency Kit

Now you know that breakdowns happen. Even if you maintain your car frequently.

It is important to keep an emergency kit in your car. On top of a fully charged cell phone other useful items to pack include the following:

  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Road flares or a white flag
  • Booster cables
  • Work gloves
  • Basic repair tools
  • Nonperishable food, drinking water, and medicines
  • Extra windshield washer fluid
  • Emergency blanket
  • Rain poncho

These items don’t take a lot of room. Yet they can make all the difference in an emergency.

Now You Know What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down

Thanks for reading. We hope this article has helped you to understand what to do if your car breaks down.

Needing your car towed is stressful. That’s one reason why it’s important to choose a reliable and honest towing company.

Check out these 5 things to ask a tow truck company before you hire them.