What to do in Case of a Breakdown
Breakdowns, no matter when or where they happen, are always an inconvenience. Unfortunately, many people are injured while either working on their cars or waiting for assistance on highways.
However, being prepared for these situations before they happen can help keep you safe.
Following are some safety tips on what to do if your car breaks down:
- If your car breaks down on a busy highway, try to get it as far away from traffic as possible. If there is an emergency lane, pull into it. If there is a safe grassy area next to the lane, pull into it.
- If you experience a flat and there's no safe place to pull over, drive on the rim until you get to a safe area. It's worth sacrificing a rim if you can save your life!
- Always carry warning devices, such as flares and triangles, with you. Place these a good distance from the vehicle, which is often further away than you might think. Although hazard lights are effective, drivers sometimes confuse them with running lights and steer onto the emergency lane.
- If you can't put the car in a safe area, move away from the car.
- When you are outside of your car on the highway be as visible as possible. If you don't have a reflective vest, put on the lightest piece of clothing available and carry a flashlight at night.
- If someone stops to offer you help, stay in your car with the doors locked, crack your window and ask them to call for help.
- The same rules apply if you've been in an accident. Be sure not to move the vehicles until the police arrive, put out warning markers and get away from the vehicles.
Following are some items you might want to keep in your trunk in case of an emergency.
- jumper cables
- a set of tools
- kitty litter or sand (for traction)
- first aid kit
- a set of tools
Of course, a well-maintained vehicle is less likely to break down. Always have a technician check your vehicle before you embark on a long trip.