Last Updated on November 10, 2021 by Tim R.
Any driver should be aware of the fact that inevitably their car may one day break down on a highway. Even though there is usually a warning sign that a vehicle is not in its best condition to be on the road, cars break down for many other reasons whether it is because of a flat tire, an overheated engine, a malfunctioning radiator or any other problem that they can’t yet envision.
Immediately you realize that your car on the road is going to break down, do not panic but keep calm. A cooling head is essential at this stage as making decisions while angry or under pressure is not the way to go. Understanding this fact is key to everything that goes after realizing that you have a car broken down. Hasty reactions should be avoided at the time of realizing that the car is not working as it should. It is best for anyone who finds themselves in this situation to keep composure and follow the next following steps.
Do not be quick to get off your car
At the point of the breakdown, be aware of your surroundings and location. In many countries, carjacking is a real threat anytime a car breaks down. Where carjacking is rampant, causing a breakdown is one of the methods used to capture unsuspecting victims. This is because when a vehicle breaks down, it creates the opportunity for gangsters to take advantage and jump into your car and take off. So, after you have kept calm, look out your window carefully, and if it is dark, keep your lights on if you feel uncomfortable with the location call someone for help immediately before inspecting the car. Another reason not to quickly get off your car is traffic. If a car on the road breaks down on a highway, it can be dangerous to get out of the car immediately. Assess the traffic on the road, and be sure to only get off your car when the highway is clear.
Get off the road
Before you get out of the car to investigate the cause of the breakdown, put your hazards on, put the handbrake, and then shut off the engine. Get you to hazard signals and put them on the road from the back and front to warn other motorists. If you have a cloth, preferably with a bright color, you can wave it around. When it is safe to get out of your car, the next step is to make sure you get your car off the road. By this time, a patrol officer should assist you to do so if it is a heavily trafficked road. If you are on a highway, make sure you move your car on the outer most lane to not create traffic. If the car cannot move completely, turn the hazard light on if its day time and if it is night time, turn off the interior lights on. This is done to ensure that other motorists don’t perceive that your car is still in motion.
Inspect your car
When my car broke down, I kept it on the side of the road and get to the action on how to repair it. You can repair it on your own if you know the problem and you know how to fix it. More often, you already know the main cause of the breakdown because some reasons for breakdowns are evident like a flat tire. Some other causes are not so easy to spot, so you need to investigate the car to find out. Such is the reason why you need to do weekly preventative maintenance, to avoid this kind of mishaps. However, nobody’s perfect and there are still a few things that can be overlooked. If it is the first time you find yourself in such a situation, it is essential to check for warning signs on the dashboard first. Check the car exterior parts of the car if you can’t find any wrong signals on the dashboard. Once you find the cause of the breakdown, don’t be hasty to rectify it when you don’t completely understand the nature of the problem. Other causes might need you to call your insurance, so don’t tamper further with your vehicle. Just keep calm and let your insurance know about the problem, and they can help you swiftly because it’s an emergency.
Call or ask for assistance
This world is full of good people who would assist anyone who needs help. From the moment you put your hazards on, the chances are that a helpful stranger will try to assist you. If no one comes to help you from their own volition, then the next step is to call for help. Also, call your insurance if needed and tell them that your car broke down. Although help is good to make sure you get a solution for the breakdown, sometimes the nature of the breakdown is so trivial that you can handle it on your own. Remember, an extra hand will help with ease and save you the time you spend repairing the car on your own no matter how trivial it is, so don’t shy away from any help and make sure to appreciate it.
Prepare for the next breakdown
After you found help and repair the car remember that breakdowns are things that will happen at any time to anyone, so the best you can do for yourself is prepare for the next breakdown. This can be done by ensuring that you have the best kind of tools inside the car. Have an emergency kit in your car with jumper cables, water, hazard signs, and reflectors. Don’t forget to have your insurance contacts with you at all times. Make sure you do regular servicing to your car, especially if you are going to make a long journey. Have enough information on the routes you will be using to drive and roads you will be using because it will help you avoid bad roads or drive carefully. Bad roads can lead to a breakdown. Thus it is good to know to take precautions.