What Should I Do If My Car Breaks Down on the Highway?

The last thing you want to happen is to have your car break down on the road. The only scenario worse than having your car break down on the road is to have it fail while on the highway. The stress of being stuck on a highway with cars speeding all around you is enough to send the calmest of people into a panic. If you find yourself in this stressful situation, use these four tips to get your car off the highway and return home safely.

1. Find a Safe Place to Pull Over

You can’t always control where your car breaks down. Ideally, you want to pull off at a service station or another safe area. However, if you feel that car is having problems and you’re not going to make it much farther, move quickly and securely into the emergency lane. Pulling off on the hard shoulder should be a last resort, because it isn’t the safest place to be when on the highway. Once you’ve safely off the road, remember to turn on the hazard lights. Also, if you have a warning triangle, don’t place it behind your car on the hard shoulder. It’s not safe and can cause more problem than it solves.

2. Get Everyone Out of the Car

If you’re on the hard shoulder, you want to get everyone out of the car and as far away from the traffic as possible. Have everyone to exit the car away from the oncoming traffic and move to the grassy knoll on the side of the freeway to wait for help to arrive.

Since you need to remain there until help arrives, make sure you have everything you need out of the car before you move to a safer area. Once situated, wait for help to get here and never attempt to repair your car while on the hard shoulder. It’s not safe at all, and you risk getting seriously injured while attempting to do so. If you have reflective vests, this is the time to put them on.

3. Keep Your Pets in the Car

While it is important to get every person out of the car if you’ve stopped on the highway, it’s equally as important to keep any pets you have in the car. Pets are safer in the car, because they are contained and can’t run into traffic. The last thing you want is for your beloved pet to get spooked and go running onto the highway. For everyone’s safety, keep your pets inside your vehicle and don’t remove them until it is safe to do so.

4. Call for Help

Once you’re safely out of the car and away from traffic, call for AAA or roadside assistance immediately. Be prepared to answer questions about the nature of your breakdown and where you’re located. If you’re near a highway shield or route marker, you can use that information to help them better identify where you’re located on the highway. Your roadside service or AAA should send someone to you to help get you back on the road. Depending on the nature of your breakdown, once they arrive, they may not be able to repair your car right there. If this is the case, they will tow your car to a place where it can be repaired and provide you with a car to get home.

Has your car broken down, or worried it might in the near future? Be prepared and search now for roadside assistance now!