Vehicle Break Down Dos and Donts
A vehicle breakdown can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Whether you're on a cross-country road trip or simply commuting to work, dealing with a sudden breakdown can be a stressful and inconvenient experience. However, knowing what to do when your vehicle breaks down can make all the difference in ensuring your safety and getting back on the road as quickly as possible.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the steps to take when faced with a vehicle breakdown. By following these guidelines, you can stay safe, minimize disruptions, and be better prepared for unexpected roadside incidents.
Your safety and the safety of your passengers should be your top priority when your vehicle breaks down. Here's what you need to do:
Pull Over Safely:
Parked you vehicle in the parking lot. Use your hazard lights to signal to other drivers that you're experiencing a problem.
Exit the Vehicle:
After pulling over, exit the vehicle on the side away from traffic. Make sure all passengers do the same, and keep children and pets close.
If it's dark or visibility is low, use reflective triangles, flares, or a flashlight to make your vehicle more visible to other drivers. Place these items a safe distance behind your vehicle.
Lock the Doors:
Locking your vehicle doors can provide an added layer of safety while you wait for assistance.
Assess the Situation
Once you've ensured your safety, take a moment to assess the situation:
Identify the Problem:
Try to determine the cause of the breakdown. Is it a flat tire, engine trouble, or something else? This information can be helpful when you call for assistance.
Check for Supplies:
Assess the supplies you have on hand, such as a spare tire, jack, and tools. If you have the knowledge and equipment, you may be able to address minor issues like a flat tire.
Call for Help
In most cases, you'll need professional assistance to get your vehicle back on the road. Here's what to do:
Call Roadside Assistance:
If you have a roadside assistance service as part of your insurance or a separate subscription, call them. Give your location to get roadside assistance.
Contact a Towing Service:
If you don't have roadside assistance or your situation requires towing, call a reputable towing service. Be sure to specify your location and the type of vehicle you have.
Inform Loved Ones:
Let a trusted friend or family member know about your situation, your location, and the estimated arrival time of assistance. This is helpful if you are new and do not know much about the area.
While waiting for assistance to arrive, continue to prioritize safety:
Stay Inside the Vehicle:
If you feel safer inside your vehicle, especially in inclement weather or high-traffic areas, lock the doors and wait for help.
Stay Warm or Cool:
Depending on the weather, adjust your clothing or use blankets to stay comfortable while waiting.
Stay Hydrated and Have Snacks:
Keep water and some non-perishable snacks in your vehicle to stay nourished if the wait is prolonged.
When help arrives, communicate effectively to ensure a smooth resolution:
Explain the situation to the roadside assistance or towing professional, including any actions you've taken and the problem's symptoms.
Don't hesitate to ask questions about the repair process, estimated timeframes, and costs. Understanding what's happening can help ease your concerns.
Experiencing a vehicle breakdown can be a nerve-wracking experience, but by following these steps, you can navigate the situation with confidence. Remember, safety comes first, so prioritize the well-being of yourself and your passengers. With a clear plan and quick action, you can minimize the inconvenience and stress associated with a breakdown and get back on the road safely.