In our last post, we explained how you can assemble an emergency kit to keep in your vehicle just in case you ever have a breakdown. While we never want to plan to be stranded, a little forethought can go a long way in ensuring you stay safe should such that situation occur. The best way to avoid an unfortunate surprise is to ensure your vehicle is maintained regularly, but issues sneak up on the best of us!
Do you know what to do if you car actually dies or begins to break down while you’re driving? It’s bad enough if you’re stalled when trying to get to work in the morning, but experiencing issues while on an active roadway can be very scary and require some basic preparation and reminders as well.
If you’re experiencing issues on the road…
- Don’t panic! – Easier said than done of course, but the more you can think clearly and react quickly, the better chances you’ll be able to get to safety and avoid further complications.
- Don’t push it – If you can feel that something is off, or if dash icons illuminate indicating a problem that is precluding your ability to operate safely, don’t keep on your commute and try to make it home. Pull over safely and call for help.
- Use your signals – This is where having a level-head will come in handy because the last thing you may be thinking about is using your blinker, but simple acts like turning on your hazards and using your signals will let other drivers know there’s an issue so you can minimize risk for accidents.
- Get to the shoulder/off the road whenever possible – If you can safely move your car off the roadway, do so. This can protect you and other drivers. If the nearest shoulder is on your left, then use it, but it’s ideal to stay toward the right and even exit when possible if your car is still driveable.
- Call for help right away – As soon as you’re stopped, whether it’s on the roadway or off, put on your hazard lights and call for help. Roadside assistance may take some time to get to you, so don’t delay this call. You can always reach out to work or family afterward.
Observe these simple tips and you can potentially avoid the helpless panic that causes many drivers to exacerbate issues and create more of a mess. Take deep breaths and act quickly. You got this!
If your vehicle is running less-than-optimally, be sure to bring it in right away for our ASE certified mechanics to asses. This may prevent the need for quick maneuvers and keep you and your family safer on the road. Call Spartan Auto Care at (413) 781-2480!