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What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down on the Road


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Imagine driving on a highway, hoping to reach your hometown soon and sleep because it’s been 5 hours and your back hurts; suddenly your car breaks down – But its life right? Getting you involved in unexpected challenges when you aren’t expecting them? Now the question here is that what you should do after realizing that you have a fast moving traffic behind and you are nearly panicking because you don’t know what to do?

Take note that every year, thousands of people die because they are unaware of the useful essentials on what to do when you stuck in similar situations – They either get their cars wrecked due to them being parked in the middle of the road or get themselves hospitalized or worse; killed by little mistakes. But you don’t have to worry, because this post has everything you need for such scenarios. We have found 10 tips on what you need to do if your car breaks down on the road; let’s get right into the post now.

Coast Along

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As soon as you realize that your car has broken down in the middle of your drive, try to move towards the right hand side of the road immediately. This is because it is away from the fast lane and could potentially save you from the fast moving cars. Moreover, coasting along the shoulder until you get out of any turns in the road, this means that you have to stop your car on the straight road of the highway; how does it help? Well, it can actually help you spot the fasting moving traffic on your tail which if unnoticed can hit you on the tail vigorously.

This is the first step for you so keep it saved in your phone or write it down on a piece of paper as a set of instructions to remember when you stuck in a car break down anytime in future.

Note Your Location

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When you stop your car on the side of the road, then you can actually turn on your GPS and note your location. This is important because you are in an emergency and if you make a call for assistance, it would be easier for the rescuers to come there for help quickly. Also, it would be much easier if you drag along besides your location to check if there are any restaurants, gas stations or rest houses. This is also one of the ways to help the rescuers find you because on long route highways, such places are not that abundant.

Another point to mention, if you remember a sign board indicating Kilometers/Miles of different destinations, then you can mention that to the rescuers also, which can make it much more easier for them to reach there for help.

If The Engine Dies, Don’t Get Out of the Car

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In all the stress about figuring out what to do, some people might choose to get out of the car if their engine dies in the middle of the road; this is actually throwing yourself in front of fast moving cars speeding up to 100 miles/hr, which means you are history. What you actually need to do when your engine dies is to try moving your car towards the side of the road where there is a less chance of getting hit from behind, but if it doesn’t seem possible for you to swerve it then there’s still no issue if the car stops near the sides.

If you think that you are causing unnecessary traffic piling up behind you, then it is not a big deal but if you really decide to get out of the car and walk to the pavement in the middle of that fast lane then this could be my last conversation with you. So if you’re smart enough to realize that your life is important here, just make sure to turn on the interior light so you’re visible to the oncoming traffic; they will get the idea that you’re in trouble.

Hang Out a White Cloth

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Once you realize that the car can’t be moved to the farther side of the road due to fast traffic, then stay where you are. If you are on a lane with slow traffic, then you will actually notice traffic piling up behind you. Don’t panic in this situation because traffic jams are common and since the traffic is piling up, it cuts down everyone’s chances to die because of a tail hit.

What you need to do now is to pull down your driver’s window and hang out a white cloth which can tell other drivers that you are in trouble. This is very beneficial because sometimes your phone is dead due to low battery and signaling the people about your trouble can make one of the drivers to the emergency service to get you help.

Make a Call

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In case your phone is completely fine or the car has one of those innovative car chargers, then make a call to your emergency service and use the information of your location at this point. Note that it is very important to be clear about your location, problem in your car and the potential dangers you have on that side of the road such as an oncoming fast traffic.

The emergency service will quickly forward your details to the road assistance service and it can be made easier by providing additional location information such as the nearby Motel on the highway or an RV park. It is also very important to not panic about the annoyed drivers pilling up, if you signal them that you aren’t able to move any further, they will find a way to drive besides you.

Don’t Turn the Car towards Exposed Traffic

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Nearly 1.3 million people die each year due to accidents on the highway and most of them occur due to being hit by oncoming traffic but is the driver turning towards the exposed traffic to be blamed? Well not all the time. This is because when your car breaks down while you are speeding up on the freeway, then most of the time you panic and take action quickly before facing the challenge smartly. Another reason is that most drivers are ignorant about the basic rules about what should be done in the middle of highway if their car suddenly shuts down.

One easy solution to this is to keep moving on the lane you are already in till you calm yourself. Once everything is clear in your mind, then look in your side mirrors to find oncoming traffic. If you turn your car towards them, it will cause a mass life loss including yours so I mentioned before: your life matters. Remember that there’s always a slow lane on the highway which has a scarce traffic, try focusing on swerving your car towards it when you find no oncoming traffic; this can help you park your car to the side of the road.

If it’s Night time, do this!

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While on the road, if you find that there is apparently no heavy oncoming traffic, then quickly get out of the car and place reflective markers or stop sign six to seven feet at the rear of your car which can help the other drivers to figure out what’s going on. But if for any reason you don’t have a reflective marker or signs, then turn on the interior light of your car to signal the oncoming traffic.

Note that turning on the emergency light indicators of your car is very risky at night so we do not recommend you to opt for it. This is because sometimes drivers on seeing the emergency blinkers mistaken your car to still be on acceleration, which increases the chances for you to experience a ruthless tail hit.

If it’s Daytime, Do this!

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If your car shuts down and it’s the daytime, then quickly turn on your emergency indicators for other drivers to give heed to it. At daytime, the chances of accidents are virtually low but you could be wrong about it. The reason behind this is that motorists can’t always notice the red tail lights due to bright sunlight; this can cause a lot of problems besides the fact that traffic is much more heavier at daytime as compared to night.

If You Get a Flat Tire

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If you experience a flat tire on the middle of the road, do not change it on the same spot. Consider swerving the car safely to the side of the road away from oncoming traffic so nobody crushes you. After that has been achieved, you can make sure that the car is not vulnerable to a hit from the traffic by keeping a marker 6-7 feet away from it and turning on the emergency blinkers.

Note that driving long on a flat tire can actually damage it and you might lose a good tire. So consider changing the tire as soon as possible to avoid more troubles on your journey.

Subscribe for Roadside Assistance

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Subscribing for a roadside assistance can save you a lot of time if you face troubles in the middle of your journey. You can just make a call in the middle of anywhere you’re stuck and they will be there to help immediately. This is possible because most of the good services have mobile assistant vehicles moving on the roads, if you find a good enough service then that could be a long-term benefit for you.

Road accidents can be prevented through proper awareness of the safety measures we have just discussed with you, which can obviously keep us from experiencing unexpected loss of life every now and then. If you found this post useful, then don’t forget to give it a generous share. Happy Driving!


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What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down on the Road

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