- Stay Inside the Vehicle. If your car breaks down in traffic, remain inside and fasten your seatbelt to protect yourself from potential collisions. Only exit the vehicle when it’s safe to do so, typically from the passenger side.
- Park in a Safe Location. Try to coast along the road until you find a safe place, away from traffic, to stop your vehicle – ideally in a breakdown lane or a parking lot.
- Use Hazard Lights and Warning Triangles. Immediately turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers. If available and safe to place, set up warning triangles or flares to provide additional signaling of your presence.
- Contact Roadside Assistance. Having a subscription to a roadside assistance service before any issues occur is a wise decision. A dependable roadside assistance plan can be your first line of defense when a breakdown happens, providing professional help with car trouble. Have your car towed to Autopro Alignment & Maintenance. We’re conveniently located at 2063 Trans-Canada Highway and you don’t need an appointment.
Basic Troubleshooting Steps
- Checking for Common Issues
Perform a quick assessment for common, easily-solvable problems like a flat tire or a dead battery. Have the necessary tools on hand to address these issues if you’re competent in doing so.
- Steps to Safely Attempt Minor Repairs
If you’re fixing a flat, make sure to use the handbrake and block the opposite wheel. For battery issues, always connect the red clamp to the positive terminal first before the black to the negative terminal.
- Essentials for an Emergency Car Kit
Be prepared for common roadside issues with an emergency car kit: Your kit should include items like jumper cables, a spare tire, a jack, a flashlight, blankets, drinking water, non-perishable food, and a first-aid kit. Regularly check and replenish your emergency car kit supplies to ensure everything is functional and has not expired.
Common Misconceptions and Mistakes to Avoid
- Never Exit the Vehicle on the Traffic Side. Exiting on the traffic side increases the risk of being struck by oncoming vehicles.
- Avoid Attempting Major Repairs on the Roadside. Major repairs require a professional. Attempting them on the roadside creates safety risks to you and other drivers.
- Do Not Walk on Highways or Busy Roads for Help. Walking along these roads is incredibly hazardous. Instead, stay with your vehicle and wait for help.
Always prioritize safety and preparation to handle a vehicle breakdown effectively. Remember the key steps: stay in your vehicle, park safely, signal to other drivers, contact assistance, perform minor troubleshooting if possible, and keep an emergency kit on hand. By understanding and avoiding common misconceptions and mistakes during a breakdown, you can ensure your well-being until help arrives. Drive smart and stay safe!