Even a well maintained or a brand new vehicle can run into trouble in the middle of the road. Breaking down is not an everyday experience, but chances are, it will happen or has happened to you at some point.
From running out of gas to transmission problems, there are many different reasons you might find your vehicle stuck on the side—or in the middle—of the road. Whatever the cause, being prepared for such an event is the best way to make sure that you and your passengers stay safe while changing a tire or waiting for help.
Here are some things to keep in mind in case you run into car trouble:
Call a Towing Company
Calling for help is the first thing you should do. It helps to have the number of a company offering towing services programmed into your phone. That way, when car trouble strikes, you can call a tow truck as soon as possible.
Of course, if the situation is a serious emergency and you are in need of medical help, dial 111 first.
Get Off the Road
Pull your vehicle as far off the road as possible. If you cannot get it off the road, exit on the passenger side. Leave a note on the windshield in case the tow truck or the police stop by the vehicle. Lock the door and walk towards the side of the road or somewhere safe and away from traffic.
Make sure you have enough space to open the door safely. Never open it if there is oncoming traffic in your path. People should take note of your emergency lights and move to another lane, but remember that this is not always the case.
Display a Distress Signal
Turn on the hazard lights if possible as soon as you realise your car is slowing down. Once you have stopped, use any warning signals that you have—warning light, flares, or hazard triangle—to alert the other motorists of your presence.
If you need the help of the police, raise your hood or tie a white cloth to your door handle or radio antenna. You can also hang the cloth on top of the door.
A vehicle breakdown is a moment no one ever hopes to face. Now that you are well equipped with knowledge, experiencing car troubles would not be so much of an unfortunate event.