With the majority of cars in the US at a higher than average risk for breaking down, it’s important to be knowledgeable about breakdowns.
How to avoid them and whether to upgrade your car are important considerations but essentially, you need to know what to do if a car breakdown does happen.
If your car breaks down, these are the steps you should take right away.
Get to Safety
The first thing you should do in a broken-down car is get to safety.
If you can, pull off to the side of the road and put your hazard lights on. This will let other drivers know you’ve broken down, though you may want to pop the hood to make it extra clear. This, however, is only if it’s safe.
If it’s not safe and you’re on a crowded road, simply stay inside of the car unless it’s smoking or there are other signs that you should leave immediately.
Call for Help
The next thing you should do is call for help. Roadside assistance is your best bet, as they can decide if your car needs to be towed.
You might be worried about the question, “How much does towing cost?” but don’t let the thought of towing services lead you to try to drive home on your own if there are clear problems with the car and it might be dangerous.
Before calling, you should try and note your location as best as possible. You can use your phone or car’s navigation system to find out exactly where you are.
If this fails, look for landmarks and road signs around you that you can describe to roadside assistance so they know where to find you.
You may also want to call a loved one and let them know what’s going on, or ask if they can come and get you once roadside assistance come if you’re somewhere safe for them to pick you up.
Remain With the Vehicle
While waiting on roadside assistance, you should never get out and wander. This can be especially dangerous on a busy road but if not, you don’t want to miss them.
Even if they said it could be hours before they reach you, they might end up unexpectedly early.
Keep your phone on in case they need to reach you. Times often change because roadside assistance can have an unpredictable schedule, and you want to be kept up to date as possible.
If you can safely get out and place markers around the car to make it extra obvious you’re in a broken-down car.
Stay Calm if Your Car Breaks Down
The most important thing to do if your car breaks down is to stay calm! Panicking will only make the situation worse, as you may not be able to think clearly about what to do.
It’s easier said than done but if you can stay calm when you experience car issues, everything else will be a lot smoother.
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