If you are new to driving or simply haven't experienced an emergency while on the road, the thought of a car breakdown can be a little scary. However, as long as you know the right steps to remain safe, you can quickly get out of the way of oncoming traffic and prepare to call for help. Here are some things you should make sure you do when you are experiencing a roadside emergency.
Stop at the First Sign of Trouble
There may be times when your car hasn't quite broken down yet, but you have a bad feeling. Maybe you smell something weird, see a small cloud of smoke coming out of your exhaust, or your intuition is just telling you something is wrong. Don't take these signs lightly. Start finding a safe place to stop or pull your car over as soon as you sense trouble. This not only saves you from a possible collision during a breakdown, but it gives you time to get help quickly. You might even be able to exit the freeway instead of just pulling over to the shoulder.
Make Sure Your Car is Visible
When you do pull over to a safe location, make sure your car is visible. It is tempting to hide in a dark, shady spot until help arrives, but they might not be able to see you. The best thing you can do is make your car visible so that the towing service or other help sees you right away. You should always turn the hazard lights on when pulling over and when you are parked on the side of the road. If you have a hazard triangle or flares, you may need to use those as well.
Only Keep the Hood Up if You Need Help
If you have no way to call a tow truck on your own, such as if your cell phone is dead, keep your car's hood up. This is a sign that you are in need of assistance. Someone might stop by to help. Never get into a stranger's car, but if they are willing to let you use a phone to call a tow truck, that can be helpful. If you don't need help from another driver or police officer, keep the hood closed. Otherwise, you will have multiple people stopping to help even though you already have what you need.
Wait Inside the Car
Unless your car is at risk of combustion, which is extremely rare, wait inside the car for help to arrive. Don't stand on the side of a busy road or sit inside with the car door wide open and your legs stretched out on the street. It might seem like you are pretty far on the shoulder and nobody could possibly hit you, but this is how unfortunate accidents happen. Get all the way in the car, close the door and lock it. This is the safest way to wait for a tow truck.Share