What to do and what not to do if your vehicle breaks down
23 June 2023
By Joy Pearson
Breaking down on the road can be a frustrating and sometimes even frightening experience, but it could happen at any time, to anyone. For this reason, it's important to know what to do, and what not to do, in this situation to ensure your safety and get your vehicle back on the road as quickly as possible.
If you ever find yourself in this situation, the first thing you should do is to pull over to a safe location as quickly as possible. If you're on the highway or a busy road, try to find an emergency lane of a safe place to park off the road. This will help reduce the risk of being hit by oncoming vehicles, while you wait for assistance. Once you have pulled over, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that your vehicle is not functioning correctly. This will make your vehicle more visible and will help to warn other drivers to slow down and give you space.
Unless it is unsafe to do so, stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt on until help arrives. Keeping yourself safe is the most important priority, by staying in your vehicle you will be safe from other vehicles that may pass by. If you must exit the vehicle, make sure you do so on the side away from traffic and stay behind the barriers or safety rails. Once you are safe, contact a roadside assistance service or emergency services to assist you. Be sure to provide your location and a brief description of what happened. If you don't have a roadside assistance service, consider purchasing one before your next trip. Many car insurance companies offer roadside assistance, which can be a lifesaver in situations like this.
Whatever you do, it's important to stay calm and collected when your vehicle breaks down. Panicking can make the situation more stressful and potentially dangerous. Take a deep breath and focus on taking the necessary steps to ensure your safety. Speaking of putting yourself in danger, unless you're a trained mechanic, never attempt to fix your vehicle yourself. Doing so can potentially cause further damage and put you in danger. It's always best to wait for professional help to arrive.
Even if you can't get it running, it's vital that you do not leave your broken down vehicle unattended. Abandoning your vehicle can result in a ticket or impounding of your vehicle. Stay with your vehicle until help arrives and keep your hazard lights on to help other drivers see you. On the same note, while it's tempting to accept help from a strange, it's not always safe. Wait for professional help to arrive, and if someone offers assistance, politely decline. If you're unsure about the safety of the situation, it's always best to err on the side of caution.
All in all, if your vehicle breaks down, stay calm, pull over safely, turn your hazard lights on, and call for help. Don't try to fix it yourself, abandon your vehicle, or accept help from strangers. By following these tips, you can ensure your safety and get your vehicle back on the road as soon as possible. Remember, your safety should always be your top priority.