Vehicle breakdown is a common problem to almost all motorists regardless of the effort that one puts in to being a good driver. However, when this occurs, how you react is going to have a bearing on your safety and the safety of any passengers that you may have onboard. What should you do when your car fails? Below tips will come in handy in such a situation:
1. Assess the problem with your vehicle
In most cases, there will be warning signs that might point to the fact that your vehicle might be experiencing a problem even before it breaks down. Being aware of these signs is important in pointing out to a possible issue. You might notice steam or smoke coming from the bonnet or the steering wheel behaving abnormally, or maybe you can hear some unusual noises. Do not panic, even in the case of a flat tire or a sudden empty tank. Slow down slowly and steer off the road avoiding any sharp manoeuvres. Do not apply instant brakes.
2. Pull off the road
If you are driving on a highway with a lot of traffic, pull off as far as possible on the side away from the traffic, but remain on the level ground. If you have to get out of the vehicle, do so with care avoiding any oncoming traffic, especially, if it's in bad weather or at night. If you cannot pull off the road, switch on safety flashers to alert other motorists.
3. Alert other motorists
Make sure that once you pull over, the vehicle is still visible to other motorists as they may be driving at high speed. With your flashers on, raise the bonnet of the vehicle, and if you have a bright handkerchief, tie it on the antenna or the side mirror. Have flares or warning triangles placed on the road to signal oncoming motorists.
4. Note the location of your vehicle
Try to get the location of where you are using landmarks such as service stations, eateries, or shopping centres. If there is a street name, note it down too. This information will be necessary for summoning help as you will need to give your exact location. Do not wander far away, for your safety.
5. Call a towing service
Once you and any passengers are safe, with your cell phone, call for a towing company. Give them your correct location based on the landmarks and your surroundings. Then stay in the car and wait for help.