What to do when your car breaks down

The experience of your car breaking down on the highway can be quite stressful, time-consuming, and scary. You need to take the necessary measures to stay safe until you solve the problem or until help arrives. If you experience your car breaking down, the most important thing to do is to make sure that your passengers (if any) and you stay safe. It can be a dangerous situation, especially if you choose a busy road to travel on, such as a highway.

Here are some steps that you should take in order to stay safe when you experience a car malfunction:

     1.Turn on your hazard lights

When you turn on the hazard lights, the drivers that are behind you will know and recognize that something is wrong with your car. You should keep the lights on during the whole time your car is not working on the side of the road, from the moment you turn it on, until the moment the vehicle recovery services arrive.


2. If you can, pull off to the side of the road

If you can, try to pull over further away from any curves on the road behind you. By doing so, this will give you the chance to get back on the road in an easier way, as well as allowing you to be more visible to the oncoming traffic. If you are not able to get over to the side of the road, do not get out of your car. Being stuck in the middle of the road is dangerous and scary, but if you try to get out of your vehicle and run to the other side, it can be a dangerous endeavor. If you are in the middle of the road, turn on the exterior and interior lights to boost the visibility.


3. Alert other drivers

Like mentioned above, you should turn on the hazard lights right away, this will make your situation noticeable and obvious to other drivers that might be coming behind you. If you were able to move to the sideway, make sure that you place neon warnings or flares around your vehicle. You will be able to find that in the cat’s safety kit. If possible, you should hang a white cloth or a white piece of paper outside of your driver’s side window. This will let other people notice that you are in trouble and maybe someone will stop and help you.


4. Call for help

You should call a roadside assistance provider, a tow truck, or AAA to help you get out of the tricky situation. If your situation is even more serious, you should call 911 immediately. If your phone battery is drained, you could stop another driver that will, most likely, be able to help you. If there is no method of communication available, you will have to wait for someone to stop or to wait for a patrolman or policeman to drive pass you.


5. Open your hood

You can either open the hood of your car before or after you get out of your vehicle. One of the most universal signs of a car breaking down is a popped hood. When drivers see a popped hood, they will maybe stop and help you.


By following these tips and advice, you will be able to remain safe until help arrives.

Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the started.