What to do if Your Car Breaks Down While Driving


If your car breaks down while driving, your may concern should be to get it to the safest spot possible. Once you have done that, you can call for help and if you’re able to, make some quick repairs yourself.

Move your car to a safe spot

Having you car break down can be scary and potentially dangerous. The engine might suddenly stop without warning, or power steering or anti-lock breaks can malfunction. As soon as you notice your car is not functioning properly you should move over to the right shoulder, making sure to use your turn signal. The left shoulder should only be used as a last resort.

Always pull over on a straight road, never on or before a curve as this can make it difficult for others on the road to see you. Once you have pulled over, activate the emergency brake and turn the steering wheel away from traffic to prevent your car from rolling unto traffic in the event your car is hit from behind. Turn on your hazard warning lights to let other drivers know there is an issue and to make your car more visible.

Do not try to make repairs you are uncomfortable with

If you aren’t used to changing your car’s tires, using jumper cables, checking fluids, etc. attempting to do so on a busy road or highway is not a good idea.

It is not advisable to get out of your vehicle to make repairs if it has broken down on the highway. Instead, call road side assistance and wait for them to arrive. You could also flag down a police officer or highway patrol who may be able to assist you or get you the help you need. You also shouldn’t make repairs to the side of your car that is exposed to traffic; this can be a very dangerous situation.

Wait for help to arrive

Never attempt to sleep in your car while it’s running as this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure to roll the windows down so there is enough air circulating and you don’t overheat. It is always a good idea to have an emergency kit in your vehicle for situations such as this. The kit should contain water, non-perishable snacks, flashlight and batteries, a blanket, sunscreen, and a first aid kit.

Being prepared for a possible breakdown can make it less terrifying and dangerous. Following the steps above can help ensure you remain safe and get back on the road as soon as possible.

A comprehensive auto insurance policy that includes road side assistance is also crucial to help moments like these less stressful. Contact a Preferred Link agent today to review your options with one of our licensed insurance professionals.