When your car breaks down, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the situation and be unsure how to proceed. Should you call a tow truck immediately, or is there a better way to handle the breakdown?
Many people are at a complete loss when their car breaks down for the first time. Because they have been lucky and have not had to deal with the situation before, they aren’t sure what to do. It’s important to think about what you would do if your car breaks down. By preparing in advance, you can ensure that you won’t end up trapped.
Today, learn from these do’s and don’ts to follow when your car breaks down.
Do’s: What To Do When Your Car Breaks Down
Do: Move and Signal
Like any good breakdown guide, this is the most important thing to begin with: you need to safely move your car from the road and alert incoming cars that there is a broken down car in the path.
Broken-down cars can become an obstruction to the normal flow of traffic. If not signaled properly, they can even lead to accidents. Move your car off of the road and turn on your hazard lights if possible.
If this is not possible, use emergency flares to light up the path leading to your car to alert oncoming drivers. Once emergency vehicles arrive, they will assist in handling traffic and moving your car from the road if necessary.
Do: Brake Your Car
Once you get your car off the road, you want to be sure that you engage the parking brake. Engaging this brake will help to ensure your car stays put. Before you engage the brake, turn your wheel towards the road. If your car is struck or the brake releases, this will keep your car from rolling off the road.
Do: Stay In Your Car If Possible
While calling for help, it is advisable to stay inside of your car if possible. Standing next to your car on a busy road is more dangerous than sitting in many cases. As long as your car is not leaking fluids or on fire, sit inside it as much as possible while you call for assistance.
Do: Call For Assistance
Depending on the nature of your breakdown, you may need to call a tow truck, police officer, mechanic, or another individual. Make sure to do this quickly so that help arrives as soon as possible. If you are part of any auto partner programs like AAA, they can help you get assistance quickly.
It is typically a good idea to call the non-emergency line and alert local officials that a car is broken down. They may send out a unit to assist until help arrives.
Do: Ask About Payment and Options
When you call a tow truck, make sure that you ask about payment. Some tow trucks will want upfront payment in cash, and this may not be possible for you. It is best to know what will be expected before getting help. You may need to call more than one towing service if you cannot make the initial plan work.
Additionally, you’ll want to explain where you would like to have the care towed. Whether you have it towed home or to a local repair shop, these arrangements need to be arranged before the tow truck driver arrives so that you do not spend more time than necessary on the road.
Don’ts: What To Avoid When Your Car Breaks Down
Don’t: Worry About Insurance Coverage
If your car breaks down, the first thing on your mind might be whether or not your car’s repairs are going to be covered. It’s reasonable to jump to this topic, but focus on what’s going on in the moment first.
Remember, if you have full coverage car insurance, many issues may be covered by your policy. Once you are safely home, you can contact your agent to discuss your plan in better detail to ensure that your car is covered and protected.
Don’t: Move Cars In An Accident
If you were in an accident, the steps that you should take will be a bit different. One of the biggest differences is that you should not attempt to move your car if you were in a serious accident as it could be dangerous, and pictures need to be taken first.
While you want to get off the road as quickly as possible when you break down, that is not always the case for accidents. Work with local authorities to determine the right move after an accident.
Don’t: Get Out In The Road
If you cannot get your car out of the road because it will not move, do not get out of your car while you call for assistance. Turn on your hazards and set up emergency flares if it is safe to do so. Then, leave the parking brake off and sit in the car with your seatbelt fastened.
Sitting in your car is safer than standing in the road, especially if there are many cars coming by. Your car is built to handle some types of impact, but your body is not. Standing in the road leads to a higher risk of serious injury.
Planning For The Future
No one wants to have to deal with their car breaking down, but you will likely be in this situation at one point or another. By preparing in advance, you can save yourself time, money, and frustration when the inevitable happens.
Preparing for a breakdown is not the only way to plan for the future. Another great thing to do is follow these great tips to take care of your car, so it will keep running like new for years to come. Ensuring that your car is in great working order can reduce the risk of a breakdown.
Breakdowns are going to happen. Now, however, you are more prepared to handle what comes next!