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Things to do if You Break Down on the Side of the Road

Breaking down on the side of the road can be both frustrating and terrifying. Figuring out what went wrong and what to do next in a stressful situation will only make things worse. To help you figure out what to do and how to get the help you need while keeping yourself and your loved ones safe, we’ve put together this guide of things to do if you break down on the side of the road. 

These tips are designed so that you get out of harm’s way, get your vehicle and your loved ones looked after and avoid any further incidents. Always be safe on the road and obey all traffic and safety laws


Get Professional Help


This is, first and foremost, your primary concern. Once you realize you are completely broken down and stuck on the side of the road, your primary concern should be getting help. Call your local towing professionals and let them know where you are so that someone with the equipment to move and ultimately tow your vehicle can be on their way as soon as possible. 

Of course, you want to make sure you are in a safe place before calling, but once you know you are safe, calling a tow truck should be your first concern. 


Get Your Vehicle Off the Road and Away From Traffic


Once you know that help is on the way, this should be your next step. If your vehicle still moves, move it carefully and slowly until it is entirely off the road and away from any possible traffic. 

This is important even if you are on a small road with low traffic. Once you’ve moved your vehicle off the road, make sure to put on your hazard lights or tie flags off your car or anything else you can do to make your vehicle highly visible so that no further accidents occur. 


Make Sure Your Vehicle Doesn’t Start Smoking 


While the risk is less likely nowadays with modern vehicles, there is still a chance depending on what caused you to break down, that the car may begin to smoke. A smoking vehicle means a vehicle that can potentially catch fire. A car that catches fire has the potential to explode. 

If you see any signs of smoke coming from your vehicle, immediately move away from your car to a safe distance and wait for the appropriate help to arrive. 


Don’t Leave Your Vehicle 


Unless you have no choice, you should never leave your vehicle unattended. The best strategy is actually to stay in your car. If you can’t move it out of traffic, then you should definitely stay in your vehicle. But even if you get it off the road, you still want to stay with it so that when help arrives, you can identify the problem and get the help you need. 

People often want to leave their vehicle and try to get help or just vacate the car and attempt to come back later. This is a bad idea. You should never leave your vehicle unless there is an imminent danger of fire or explosion. 


Don’t Try to Fix it


Even if you are a trained mechanic, trying to fix a vehicle on the side of the road is a bad idea. Chances are, you don’t have the tools, diagnostic equipment, or spare parts to fix it in the first place, but you certainly don’t want to go poking around a broken-down car and potentially make things worse. 

The best solution is to wait until help arrives and either have your vehicle towed to a mechanic or let the tow truck driver inspect the vehicle and determine the best course of action. No one wants to accidentally make a bad situation worse by messing around with things they can’t fix. 


Final Thoughts 


That’s it. Those are our top tips to help you stay safe and get the help you need if you break down on the side of the road. The most important thing is making sure your family is safe and calling a tow service that you can depend on.