How to keep your calm when your car breaks down

While we all try to use the best spare parts for our cars, keep it thoroughly serviced and drive safely, the inevitable just might happen: your car might break down in the middle of a freeway. Instead of panicking in such a situation, it is always advisable to keep your calm and think about how best to stay safe while seeking emergency services. However, we know these things are easier said than done. To make it easier on your nerves, here is a step by step guide of what to do if your car unfortunately breaks down in the middle of the road.
  1. Get the car off the road: Get into the service lane as quickly and safely as possible. Keep signalling to the cars passing by and make sure your car stays on level ground, specially if there is a slope next to the highway. Always be watchful of whether the car is rolling off. If for some reason you are not able to pull off the road, turn on your hazard lights. Do not attempt to push your car to a safe location because you might injure yourself in the process which will only worsen the situation. If you are not sure about your safety on that highway and think your vehicle may be hit from behind, do not stay in your vehicle.
  2. Try to place your location: If you are stuck in any situation, the first thing you should be doing is figuring out exactly where you are stuck. Look for signs on the highway. Note landmarks such as service stations, restaurants, shopping centres and business complexes. Try to remember the last exit name or any numbered signs near the place you drove past. This will be useful when you call for assistance.
  3. Try to do an initial assessment of your car’s operating problem: If there were any unusual noises, any out-of-the-ordinary car responses or any steam or smoke coming from under the hood, take careful note of it and describe it clearly when you call for assistance.
  4. Be careful while getting out of the car: If you need to get put of the car to assess its problem, be careful while doing so as there might be other speeding vehicles on the same road. Watch out carefully for traffic, especially at night or in bad weather. Be sure to come out of your car from the side away from traffic. It is advisable to not stand behind or directly in front of your vehicle, as you risk being struck by drivers who might not see you from the side.
  5. Communicate your emergency: If your car has broken down, there are more ways than one you need to communicate your situation. Firstly, you have to call emergency services. Inform them clearly about your situation and location, a description of your vehicle and the nature of your problem. If there are senior citizens, infants or people with medical needs, you must also inform them about it so they can come prepared accordingly. We also recommend you call a friend or a family member to alert them of the situation. Next, it is equally important to let the motorist on the highway know that your car has broken down. For this, raise your vehicle’s hood and turn on emergency flashers. This is a must-do if your car is stuck at night or in bad weather. If a good Samaritan on the highway offers you help, always ask for an identification proof before accepting help.
These are the few pointers you must keep in mind if your car breaks down on the road. Always remember, panicking will only attract more trouble. Have a safe drive!

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