If you are a new driver, breaking down on a major road can be scary. Sitting on the side of the road can be nerve-wracking, but with these tips, you can stay calm and safe.
Move Your Car
If at all possible, always try to move your vehicle to the side of the road out of traffic. Turn on the hazard lights to alert other drivers. Once you get your car into the breakdown lane or the median, put on the emergency parking brake and use the steering wheel to turn your wheels away from the road. If you don’t make it to the side of the road, turn on the lights and put on the brake, but don’t get out until it is safe to do so.
Call for Help
Some drivers feel the need to call 911 to report their situation to local law enforcement. First responders may be able to maneuver their vehicles into protective positions around your car until a tow truck arrives. After contacting emergency response, take a moment and use your mobile phone to search for “truck road service near me” and find a company that can tow your vehicle to a mechanic. Always keep an extra charger in the car for times like these.
Stay With Your Vehicle
While you are waiting on help to arrive, keep your hazard lights on. This alerts people to your car, but they may not know if there are occupants in it. If you have pulled far enough off the road that it is safe, then stay in the vehicle with your seatbelt on. If the situation where you are parked is hazardous, then get off the roadway and step over the roadside barrier as soon as it is safe to do. Crawl from the driver seat and out the passenger door to stay as far away from traffic as possible.
Use Common Sense
The side of the road isn’t the time or place for you to start poking around under the hood or attempt changing a tire for the first time. Use common sense in what you do while you wait. Pay attention to your surroundings and be careful trusting a stranger to help you or offering you a ride. This is why it best to stay in the vehicle with the door locked.
A lot of breakdowns can be prevented by remembering to conduct regular maintenance checks on your vehicle. If you do find yourself on the side of the road, remember, it is safety first.