There you are, driving down the highway, singing along to your favorite tune, when out of the blue, your car starts making weird noises, slows down until it finally stops. At last, you realize: your car has just broken down. It happens … the most important thing in this type of situations is not to panic and over-react.
1-Try to get the car off the road
I know it may be tempting to get out of the car and check right away what’s wrong with it. But first thing first, it is important to get your vehicle off the road and not risk your safety and that of everyone around. In case the car stalls on a highway, and there is no way you can move it, stay inside the car until it is completely safe for you to get out.
2-Evaluate the problem and see whether you can fix it yourself
If you were able to move your car off the highway and are no longer a problem for moving traffic, go ahead and check what’s wrong with your car. If you feel it’s something you can fix on your own, like replacing a flat tire, by all means, go for it. But if you have never done any work on your car and have trouble figuring out what’s wrong with it, it is time for you to call for help.
In case you are not able to move your car off the highway immediately turn on your hazard lights. And no, trying to push your car off the road (especially if you are on a busy roadway), is out of the question.
3-Call and ask for help
First, dial 911, let them know about your situation and ask for any advice on what to do until help arrives. Your next step would be to call for roadside assistance. Besides letting them know that you have already called 911, describe what happened, give them a number where you can be easily reached, your location, and a description of your vehicle. Calling a family member or a close friend to let them know about your situation and location might also be a good idea.
4-Alert other drivers that your car broke down
At this point, you’ve already turned on the hazard lights, but that might not be enough for other drivers to get the “my car just ‘abandoned’ me” message you’re trying to convey. You may want to turn your car’s interior dome light in addition to the emergency flashers. If you can, raise the hood and place reflective triangles to let other drivers know that your car has broken down. Be cautious, though, if you are stuck in a busy highway, staying inside your vehicle is the best you can do.
After you’ve taken all the precautions, all that’s left for you is just to wait for help. It is important not to leave the car alone for two main reasons. First, you may risk your life by trying to walk on a high-speed roadway. And second, the roadside service can’t help with your car if you are not present at the time help arrives.
Have you ever experienced a car breakdown on a highway? Share your story with us! Thank you!