What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down

August 29, 2022

It is vital and lifesaving to know what to do when your car breaks down on the side of the road, and it could save a life. Even if you have towing or roadside coverage on your auto insurance, the first time your car breaks down can be a frightening and confusing moment. It is especially true if you’re unsure what to do about it. It’s essential to understand how to respond to a car breakdown properly and safely so that you can get yourself and your car to a safe place right away.

When Your Car Breaks Down: Handling it Properly

Here are some things you need to understand about addressing a car breakdown correctly.

Steps to Take After a Car Breakdown

If you are on the road and your car malfunctions, don’t panic. Ease your foot off the accelerator gradually, don’t yank it off. Move over to a safe spot on the shoulder of the road. If you’re on the interstate and can reach an exit safely, you may want to do so.

Use your directionals to signal your movement, and carefully watch your mirrors and traffic around you so that you move safely. 

Ensure that people on the road can see your car. Emergency triangles and your hazard lights are excellent places to start. If it is dark, consider emergency flares at the front and rear of your vehicle. You do not want to cause an auto insurance claim from an accident. 

For easily solved problems, like a flat tire, change the tire if you are in a safe place to do so and can. If not, you’ll want to get more help. If you have cell phone service, call your roadside service or a trusted friend or loved one to come to help you.

Don’t try to flag down other motorists because this can put you in danger of accidentally being hit by a car. Instead, pop the hood and tie a brightly colored ribbon to your antenna so that other drivers can recognize that you need help. Stay with your car until roadside service arrives.

Other Things to Do When Your Car Breaks Down

You may find it safer to wait in your car with locked doors if it’s late or dark. If someone stops to offer help, roll your window down and ask them to call emergency services if you haven’t already been able to. Wait for a uniformed police officer or the tow service before you get out of the car.

Knowing how to respond to a breakdown can help you keep your cool behind the wheel in such an emergency. Opt for the additional roadside and towing coverage with your auto insurance so that you have a service that you can call in the event of a breakdown.

About Brooks, Todd & McNeil

Since 1839, the independent agents at Brooks, Todd & McNeil have been pleased to offer our community the best and most affordable policies from a variety of providers. Our dedicated facilitators are ready to put their 75 years of combined experience to work on your claims. To learn more about our products and services, contact us today at (800) 448-4567.