There are few experiences more harrowing for drivers than a sudden breakdown, and it’s a particularly stressful experience if it happens on the highway. If you’ve never gone through this experience, you may feel at a loss for what to do, but these tips should help to keep you safe and sane.
Make sure to always have an emergency kit packed up in your car. An effective emergency kit should include jumper cables, a flashlight, fire extinguisher, first aid supplies, tools, and an emergency tire repair kit just to name a few.
Be gentle on the brakes:
If you see smoke billowing from beneath the hood or feel that your vehicle is shutting down, you might be compelled to slam on the brakes. Instead, you should gently apply the brakes while steering the car to the closest, safest area to stop. Get off at the nearest exit if you can or steer to the shoulder or side of the road.
Make sure other drivers see you:
In the event of a breakdown, your first step should be to turn on your emergency flashers — especially if a breakdown occurs after the sun has begun to go down for the day. Other steps you can take to ensure visibility including lighting flares and setting them by your vehicle, setting up an emergency road triangle, and raising your hood.
If you’ve pulled off to the side of the road on a hot day, you may want to wait outside of the vehicle until health arrives. If you do, make sure that you are well off of the road and away from the vehicle. Otherwise, you should remain in the vehicle until help arrives to ensure your safety.
If you suffer a breakdown, bring your vehicle into Don Larson GM — our technicians will get you back on the road in no time.