Having a car suddenly break down while you’re driving can be a stressful experience. It’s a good idea to get yourself educated on this matter before it actually happens to help you remain calm and to better cope with caused stress during such situations.
Most Common Reasons for a Car Breaking Down
– A flat tire can be caused by a puncture from a sharp object on the road. Having an air pump in your car could be a helpful precautionary solution.
An old, run down bald tire can also result in a flat during sudden breaking. Don’t wait until your tires become completely bald because you are risking your safety while driving, not to mention the potential of getting fined by the police. Always be aware of your tires’ thread level and check tire pressure every few months.
– A dead car battery is another common cause of a breakdown. Every battery dies with age or it can deplete while driving if it’s faulty. Even a high-quality battery will fail if you’ve only been driving short distances without giving it a chance to fully recharge.
– Running out of gas happens more often than you might think. Trying to squeeze out those few extra miles while running on empty or testing the limits of your car is just not worth the risk.
If your car is old and the fuel indicator is not working properly, make sure to keep an empty gas canister for emergency situations.
What Actions to Take
If the car is still rolling, try to make it to the side shoulder to completely get away from all traffic. In a case where your car stopped in the middle of a busy highway, put your hazard lights on and leave the vehicle. Your safety comes first and you don’t want to risk getting hit by a coming car, especially while you’re trying to deal with your situation.
Next, try to figure out your exact location. Look at the traffic signs and scan the area for any businesses around you. Use the Google Maps App pin location option if you need to send your coordinance to someone for them to come and get you.
Assess the condition of your vehicle. Not everyone has the knowledge of a car mechanic, but try to determine if there are any obvious problems that might have caused the breakdown, such as a flat tire or running out of fuel.
Stopping on the road at night, in thick fog or a thunderstorm might make your car blend in with the surroundings. Make yourself visible by turning on your hazard lights and popping open your hood. Look in your trunk if you have a triangle reflector sign that you could put a couple of feet away from the back of your car. Some reflector signs come pre-attached to the inside of the trunk. In that case, you would need to leave it open.
Call roadside assistance or a tow truck company. Contact a friend, family member or 911 if you need advice on your current situation, or you feel too stressed to solve this problem on your own.