Mechanical failures and issues are part of owning a car, and while regular maintenance can help reduce the risk, a breakdown is always a possibility. In the event your car breaks down, it’s important to know what to do to keep both yourself and other drivers safe from harm. Don’t let a minor breakdown turn into a major catastrophe! Make sure you’re prepared for every possibility, no matter how unlikely it may be.
- Get Off the Road – In the event of a breakdown or engine failure, DO NOT slam on the breaks. Instead, gently remove your foot from the accelerator and attempt to carefully and safely pull your car to the right shoulder or breakdown lane, making sure to signal your intentions to fellow drivers the entire time. If you’re on the interstate and it’s possible to get to an exit, try to do so.
- Stay Visible – Be sure to turn on your emergency flashers to inform other drivers that your car is in distress. After you have safely removed your car from the road, make sure it’s visible to other cars. Place reflector triangles and cones behind and around your vehicle if you have them.
- Call for Help – Don’t try to repair your vehicle yourself, instead call for professional assistance. If you don’t have a roadside assistance provider, call a tow truck or 9-1-1. Do not try to flag down other drivers. Lifting your hood and attaching a white flag or cloth to your antennae or hanging a white cloth out of your window will alert police and emergency vehicles that your car is in need of assistance. If your vehicle is not on the roadway, sit inside with the doors locked until help arrives.
- Stay out of the Road – If your vehicle has broken down on the roadway and can’t be moved, make sure your hazards are on and then remove yourself from the roadway as quickly and safely as possible.
Remember, when faced with a breakdown, the most important thing you can do is get yourself and your passengers to safety off the road. Alerting other driver’s to your situation with flashers and keeping yourself safe helps prevent unnecessary accidents and can be the difference between a minor breakdown and a much more serious incident.
RAISE YOUR AWARENESS ABOUT DISTRACTED DRIVING
Distracted driving is one of the fastest growing safety issues on the road today. Every day, thousands of people are injured in distracted driving accidents. It only takes a few seconds of taking your eyes off the road for an unfortunate accident to happen. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 3,142 people were...
SIX TIPS TO STAY SAFE DRIVING IN WINTERY CONDITIONS
The winter months can present challenges for drivers in the form of snow, sleet, and ice. Unfortunately, these hazardous conditions cause an increase in car accidents, many involving injuries and some even fatal. According to the US Department of Transportation, over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,000 people are injured every year in car wrecks...
ROAD TRIP SAFETY TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON
The time between Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is a busy time of year – both in our personal lives and on the roads. It is also known as one of the most dangerous times to be on the road due to heavy traffic, distracted and drunk drivers, stress, and inclement weather. AAA predicts that...