What Should You Do If Your Vehicle Breaks Down?

Doc Motor Works hopes you never have to heed the advice in this blog post, but this information is good to know anyway just in case you do get stranded on the road. Vehicle maintenance helps to prevent breakdowns, but even those faithful about their scheduled services can still wind up in an emergency situation. Follow these steps if your vehicle stalls while you’re driving.

1. Drive Your Vehicle to Safety if You Can

At the first sign of trouble, drive your vehicle to safety. You might notice a strange smell or sound or a dashboard warning light might come on. If anything seems strange at all, get off the road. If you’re on the highway, pull over to the shoulder. If you’re driving in the city, find the nearest place to park. If your vehicle stops running, solicit help and push it out of traffic once it’s safe to do so.

2. Determine Where You Are Exactly

Once you’re in a safe spot, determine where you are. If you’re on the highway, determine the off-ramps between which you’re stranded. If you’re on city streets, find out what road you’re on and what the nearest major intersection is. If you can get an exact address, even better. You’ll need this information for Step 4, so make a note of your position. Use the GPS on your mobile phone if necessary.

3. Alert Other Drivers of Your Breakdown

Turn on your hazard lights and use warning signs and/or flares if you have them in your trunk. If you don’t, you should, but at a minimum, turn on your hazard lights to alert oncoming drivers. You should also pop open your hood to draw additional attention to your breakdown. If you do have warning signs and/or flares, place them on the road leading up to your car. If it’s dark, use flares alongside the signs.

4. Call for Help

Stay on the side of your vehicle that does not have traffic driving by and call for help. If there is an emergency, such as an accident stranded your vehicle, call 9-1-1. If you aren’t having an emergency, call for a tow truck to come and tow your vehicle off the road. If you have roadside assistance such as AAA or included with your automobile insurance, call that service for the help you need.

5. Stay Safe Until Help Arrives

Most importantly: stay safe. Do not stand on the side of your vehicle that has traffic driving by. If it is nighttime or you are stranded in a bad part of town, remain inside your car, truck or SUV and lock the doors until help gets there. Also, try to park your vehicle in a lighted area if it is nighttime. Finally, keep emergency supplies in your vehicle, such as water, food and blankets in the event you are stranded for a long time.

Doc Motor Works can help ensure your vehicle never breaks down. We are located in Shorewood, IL, and you can call us at 815-201-5122 for an appointment.