preparing for your road trip

« Back to Home

What You Should Do If Your Car Breaks Down On The Highway

Posted on

When you are driving on the highway, and you begin to experience the common signs of a breakdown, it sends you into panic mode. Your car may have smoke coming out from under the hood, a loud clunk might have been heard, or it might even be completely dead. If this happens, make sure you act quickly and focus on getting the car somewhere safe and calling for help.

Pull Over Quickly

The first thing you need to do is look around you and see how you can get over to the right shoulder of the highway as soon as possible. If you're already in the right lane, this shouldn't be too difficult. You're in luck because it will be much less dangerous when you don't have to pass cars. However, if you are in a middle or left lane, you need to throw your hazard lights on and start moving over. Be cautious of other drivers while attempting to get to the shoulder as quickly as you can. Honk your horn if you need to get people's attention. Even if your car is dying, you should hopefully be going at a speed where you can at least get over to the side of the road.

Remain in the Vehicle

There are only a few reasons you should get out of the vehicle if your car has broken down on the highway. It is dangerous to get out, even when you watch for other cars. Only get out if you suspect there is a gas leak in the car or if it is caught on fire. In this case, you should get out and walk as far as you can from it. The only other reason is to set out flares, before which you go back into the vehicle and lock the doors.

Don't Accept Rides From Others

In many cases, people are nice enough to pull over an ask for help. Unless your cell phone is dead and you need to borrow theirs to call a tow truck, thank them for their assistance, but decline the offer. This is for your safety and theirs. You don't want them hanging out on the side of the road outside their vehicle where they are also in danger of other cars racing past them.

Call a Tow Truck

Even if you are efficient at fixing minor vehicle repairs, it is better to call a tow truck. Doing even small repairs on the side of the road can put you at risk. The exception is if the only thing wrong is something like a flat tire, which you may be able to fix on your own. Aside from that, stay in the vehicle and call a towing services company.