There's nothing worse than breaking down on the road, especially if you're alone. Breaking down on the road can leave you in a state of panic. If your new job is going to require you to commute, it's a good idea to prepare yourself in advance for the possibility of car troubles. Knowing what to do ahead of time will alleviate some of the panic that might set in otherwise. Use the advice provided here to identify the proper procedures should your car break down while you're commuting.
Take a Few Safety Measures
If your car breaks down on the road, what you do next is very important. The last thing you want to do is panic. Instead, remain calm and follow these three steps.
Get Out of Harms Way
When it comes to car troubles, sometimes they give you a bit of advance warning before everything goes south. As soon as your car starts acting strangely, or making strange noises, pull over to the slow lane and prepare to stop. Once you know your car is having trouble, get off the road. If you can make it to an off ramp, go ahead and exit the freeway. However, if you can't, just pull off into the dirt. If your car goes out without warning, and you're not able to get off the highway, turn your hazard lights on and call for emergency assistance. If the highway is busy, call 9-11 and let them know that your car is stuck in the middle of traffic.
Make Yourself Visible
If you're still on the highway, other motorists are going to be speeding past you. To protect yourself, and them, you want to make yourself as visible as possible. The most important thing you can do is turn your hazard lights on. Next, you'll want to increase your visibility. Open your window slightly, and wave a piece of cloth – or clothing – above the top of your car. This will alert vehicles of the hazard, and give them enough time to move around you.
Know Who to Call
To get your car towed to safety, you'll need to call your roadside assistance company. If you have a new car, you probably have roadside assistance through the manufacturer. You'll want to call them first. In most cases, the manufacturer will have placed a sticker on the driver side window that will have the phone number for roadside assistance services. If your car is older, and you have roadside assistance through your insurance company, call the number on your insurance card. If you don't have roadside assistance, you can call the local highway patrol, and they'll have a tow truck dispatched to your location. Be sure to have your vehicle registration out and ready to go when the tow truck arrives.