Having your car break down is stressful no matter where the breakdown occurs. But if it occurs in the middle of the road, your stress in tenfold. In addition to worrying about getting your car to the mechanic and fixed, you also have to worry about your safety and the safety of other motorists around you.
We won’t lie: this is a dangerous situation to be in. But there are things you can do to make it better for you. Below are our tips for staying safe when broken down in the middle of the road.
Try to Get off the Road
As you realize what is happening, hit your hazard light and then check the traffic to your right. If possible, start changing lanes and get as far right as you can. With luck, you will get to the shoulder, but if not, at least you will be in the slower moving lanes. Once you are stopped, engage your emergency brake and turn your wheel to the right, then place the car in park and turn the engine off.
Stay in the Car
This goes against instinct, but the truth is that as long as you and your passengers are buckled up, your car is likely the safest place you can be. Suddenly exiting the vehicle can put you in danger, and even if you are outside and away from the car, should a crash happen, you will have no protection from other vehicles or debris.
Call for Help
If you are in a dangerous position, such as being stuck in the middle of the road, call the police first. This will allow them to come to the scene and direct traffic, keeping everyone safe as they help to get you off the road. If you made it to the side of the road, call your roadside assistance company or a towing company directly.
If You Must Exit, Exit from the Passenger’s Side
If you are in a situation where you feel you are unsafe in your vehicle and believe you can safely exit the vehicle and shelter yourself somewhere, it is best that you exit from the passenger’s side so you are not outside of your car where oncoming traffic will be passing you. If you have pets, it is often safer for them to be in the vehicle than outside around traffic, but be sure to crack the windows for them before you leave them.
Use Other Emergency Signals if You Can Do So Safely
Flares and orange triangles can help make your situation visible to other motorists, especially at night. However, if you cannot place them safely, do not attempt to do so. If you can, place them about 50 feet behind your vehicle.
Keep the Passenger Door Unlocked
While cars are often your biggest danger, there are other things to consider. It is best to leave one door unlocked so you can quickly reenter your vehicle if you feel unsafe.
If you break down in our area of service, NK Towing is here for you. Our team will arrive quickly and help you and your vehicle get to safety. Keep our number programed into your phone so you can reach us quickly. We offer 24-hour service, so we are always here for you.