Breaking down is frustrating but it can be even more frightening depending on the circumstances. First, you must worry about your safety when you exit the vehicle, even if you were able to get it out of moving traffic. Then, you must worry about the safety of your passengers, because even though they remain in the car, truck, or SUV, they’re still in a dangerous situation. J & R Automotive advises you do the following to keep everyone safe in the event of a vehicle break down.
Take Care of Your Vehicle First
Keeping your vehicle safe is the only way to ensure your family’s safety. At the first sign of trouble, turn on your hazard lights and drive your car to the safest location possible, whether that is the side of the road or a parking lot. If you’re driving at night, try to find a location with plenty of light.
Determine where you are by your surroundings. If you are on the highway, note the last exit you passed and the next exit coming up. If you are on the street, determine the cross streets and utilize landmarks such as service stations and restaurants to tell the authorities where you are.
Keep your hazard lights on and alert oncoming traffic as many ways as possible. If you have road flares and/or hazard signs in the trunk, carefully exit your vehicle and put them on the side of your car according to traffic flow. Lift your hood and tie a bright-colored cloth to it, as well.
Call for help. If you have roadside assistance through AAA, your auto insurance carrier, or another service, call them immediately to alert them of your location and situation. If you don’t have roadside assistance, call 911 to alert the authorities.
Take Care of Your Family Next
Keep the automobile doors locked at all times. If you must exit your vehicle, lock the doors behind you. If you suspect the problem is with the engine, turn the motor off. You don’t want to introduce dangerous carbon monoxide into the vehicle’s cabin or damage the engine further.
If the issue is tire-related, you can leave the engine on if it’s cold outside. It’s important everyone stays warm. This said, depending on how long it takes for help to arrive, you may have shut the engine off. If it’s summer and hot, turn off the engine to avoid overheating.
Finally, always have an emergency kit inside the vehicle and one in the trunk. You’ll need blankets, water, non-perishable snacks, and a first aid kit in the event of illness or injury. Once help arrives, call J & R Automotive at 931-456-6569 and have your vehicle towed to our Crossville, TN, shop.