Dealing with a breakdown can be incredibly frustrating. If an issue occurs on a busy road with lots of vehicle traffic, it can also pose some serious dangers to drivers, passengers, and vehicles. The best way to prepare for automotive troubles is to find out in advance what to do should the worst occur, so read on to find out about the seven steps to take if a car breaks down while on the road.
Step One: Turn on the Hazards
The first step for motorists to take is to turn on their hazard lights. Flip the switch as soon as it becomes evident that something is wrong, and keep the hazard lights on until help arrives. Taking out a policy at feingoldco.com can make it easier for drivers to get the help they need, so that’s a great preventative measure to take before anything goes wrong.
Step Two: Pull Off the Road
The next step is to slow down and pull the car off the road. Aim for the right shoulder, if possible, and try to make it to a safe, flat location. Get the car as far away from moving traffic as possible, even if it requires pulling off the pavement. Driver and passenger safety should always be the priority here.
Step Three: Prepare the Vehicle
Once the vehicle has come to a stop, turn the wheels away from the road and set the emergency brake. These two steps will prevent the car from moving into traffic should anything go wrong. It’s especially important to remember to turn the wheels away from the road if the car is stuck on a hill.
Step Four: Stay in the Vehicle on Busy Roads
It may be tempting to get out of the car to check out the damage or attempt a quick fix, but that’s not a good idea on busy roads. When there’s no choice but to get out of the vehicle, exit through the side of the car that’s away from traffic, and take the time to make sure the road is 100% clear.
Step Five: Ensure Visibility
If it’s safe to get out of the vehicle, it’s a good idea to prop the car’s hood open. This will alert other drivers that the vehicle is broken down and they should proceed with caution.
Step Six: Set Up Triangles
If drivers have reflective triangles or road flares in the trunk, it’s worth breaking them out at night if the road is clear. Again, this step should only be taken if it’s safe to exit the vehicle.
Step Seven: Wait for Help
Regardless of whether drivers call their insurance companies, a roadside assistance service, or a tow truck, they should wait with the vehicle until help arrives. In emergency situations, it’s also fine to call 911 or the local police to request assistance.
Safety Should Always Be the Top Priority
The most important thing to remember when a car breaks down is that the safety of drivers and passengers should always be the top priority. Never take unnecessary risks like getting out of the car in the midst of swiftly moving traffic. If the breakdown occurs on a busy road, the best thing to do is always to call for help, even if it means calling a tow truck and paying to have the vehicle transported someplace safe.