Staying safe in a breakdown

You’re driving along the highway when suddenly your car starts making a strange noise and slows to a stop. What should you do?

Breakdowns can happen at any time – even when your vehicle is new. Many times, people aren’t prepared to deal with a breakdown. Here are some steps to take while awaiting the tow-truck.

  1. Pull off the road. Move the vehicle to the breakdown lane or the right side of the road and out of traffic. If your car dies on the highway and you can’t pull off to the side of the road, stay in your car. Don’t try to cross a busy high-speed road if traffic is heavy. While it can be nerve wracking when traffic backs up, stay in your car and let others drive around you.
  2. Alert other motorists. Turn on your emergency flashers. If you have them, you may want to consider placing warning triangles or flares to alert oncoming traffic and other motorists that your vehicle is disabled. This will also alert police and tow-truck operators that you need help.
  3. Call for help. As soon as you can, call for help. If your breakdown is posing a threat to your safety or others passing by, you should call 911.
  4. Be prepared when calling for assistance. Give a description of the problem, a description of your vehicle and your location. If you aren’t sure of your location, look around for local landmarks, such as the nearest crossroad, highway exit sign or mile marker.
  5. Remain in your car. If your car is safely out of traffic, it’s probably a good idea to wait inside your vehicle until a police officer or tow truck arrives. It’s never a good idea to walk along the interstate. Following this advice could save your life.
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