If you’ve ever had your car break down in the middle of nowhere, then you know how much trouble it can be. But what most drivers don’t realize is that a simple car problem can quickly turn dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken. How do you safely deal with a breakdown?
1. Pull over to a safe place – Don’t stop your car in the middle of the road. If at all possible, try to pull over to the side, even if you have a flat tire and doing so would damage your wheel; the cost of replacing a wheel is nothing compared to the risk of a collision.
2. Be careful when getting out – Before leaving the car to attempt repairs, check if there is any incoming traffic. Leave from the passenger’s side if needed to avoid exposing yourself to danger, especially on a highway.
3. Maintain car visibility – Breakdowns at night can be extremely dangerous, so you should try to make your vehicle as visible as possible. Leave your hazard lights on, and it’s also a good idea to keep warning triangles for this purpose.
4. Call a towing service – If you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, a tow truck is the only thing that can get you and your vehicle to safety. This is why you should always have the number of your local towing service on your phone. Preferably, choose a company that operates 24/7, and can respond to your emergency at a moment’s notice.
5. Exercise due caution – Strangers may offer assistance, but always be cautious. Unless you don’t have a working phone, it’s best to simply decline and wait for help to arrive. The best choice is to stay in the car, and only roll down your window slightly to thank them for their concern.
As long as you follow these five steps, you can minimize the potential dangers. Of course, the best option is to keep your car well maintained, and prevent the breakdown in the first place.