Steps to Take When Your Vehicle Breaks Down Along the Highway

Despite regular maintenance, you can't predict when your vehicle's tire might blow or when your car will simply stop working. The Insurance Information Institute suggests several important steps that keep you safe if your vehicle breaks down.

 

Pull Over

 

You never want to leave your vehicle in the middle of the road. Drive it to the right shoulder or other safe spot before you attempt to figure out what's wrong with it or call for help. This way, your vehicle won't obstruct traffic, and you have a clearer line of sight when you're ready to return to the road.  

 

Warn Others

 

Tell other drivers that you're immobile and warn them to slow down when you place flares or reflective triangles on the road at least six feet behind your vehicle. Turn on your hazard lights, too. 

 

Stay Inside

 

It's tempting to stand outside and flag help or attempt to fix your vehicle, but this choice is dangerous on busy highways. Remain in your vehicle until roadside assistance or a helpful friend arrives.

 

Turn on the Lights

 

If you don't set up flares or reflective triangles, other drivers won't see you at night until the last minute. Increase your visibility and safety when you turn on the interior lights.

 

Hang a White Marker

 

A white fabric square, scarf or paper hanging from the driver's side window alerts other drivers that you're broken down and immobile. Secure a white object into place and then wait for help.

 

Call for Help

 

Roadside assistance from your insurance company or auto club is available 24/7, so call them on your cellphone as soon as your vehicle is safely off the road. You can also use a call box if it's located near your vehicle. If you don't have a phone or a nearby call box, wait for highway patrol to find you.

 

Breaking down on the highway is no fun, and it's dangerous. Enroll in a roadside assistance today. Your auto insurance company might offer this coverage, so check your policy or call your agent. This coverage won't prevent break downs, but it will give you peace of mind if you're ever stuck along the road.

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