If there is one thing that every single driver dreads, it’s breaking down at the side of the road. It’s not that they worry that they won’t be able to get back on the road again, it’s that they worry about the cost, the time of day, the cold – the mountain men in the woods. You name it, and people will worry about it! Breaking down on the side of the road is a pain and it’s not the most fun anyone has, and it’s especially worrying if you are in a huge truck and you break down – you know that you’re the cause of the slower traffic!
The good news is that you won’t be stranded for long, not when you use a reputable tow truck company to get you going again. You may not be able to necessarily get back to driving your journey, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get some help. It’s not nice to have a breakdown, but it’s better to know what to do in the event that one occurs than be left on the hard shoulder in the middle of the night. With this in mind, here is a list of things you need to do in the event of a breakdown. Even if you’re an experienced driver, you’re going to benefit from this list – so pay attention!
- Get off the road as fast as you can. It’s the first thing that you need to do if you break down. You know that you can still try to get your car off the road as quickly as you can, or as far to the side of the road as possible so that you’re not in the way of the moving traffic. You have to be safe, here, so if you cannot move the car off the road, flip on the hazard lights and then get yourself to safety. Get what you need from your car and move to the safety of the side of the road. If the car is in the middle of traffic, stay in the car, flip the hazard lights and move onto:
- Calling for help! You need to call your towing company and get them to come and move you off the road. Your car does not need to be left in the middle of the road here, especially when you can get off the road efficiently with the right towing company. Ideally you have a cell phone to ensure that you can call for someone. If not, check to see whether you have a spare phone at the hard shoulder so that you can call for help. You have to call as soon as you can, though, don’t wait!
- Give other drivers on the road the signal that you’re in trouble. It starts with the hazard lights, but this isn’t the only thing that you must do. Other drivers need to see that you are having car trouble, and if you can get out of the car and place cones or road flares, do it. Only do this safely, though.
- If your car is close to the hard shoulder, stay with the car or at least level with it. There are too many people killed on the side of the road every year, and you do not want to be one of them. Cars are flying down the motorway, so you have to be safe. Equally, you have to ensure that the pickup crew know that this is your car and they get the right one. Sticking close by will help!
- Don’t try to fix things yourself. Wherever you are stranded, it’s not the time to get your fix on and start acting like a mechanic. Let the professionals make any necessary fixes or you could do more harm than good. You need to give the car a look, we get it, but if you know you can’t fix it yourself, don’t even try. There’s nothing ideal about “fixing” a car only for it to break down even further a mile down the road.
- Be aware of your surroundings. We joked about scary mountain people earlier on, but really, being aware of your surroundings is just smart. You don’t want to be robbed just because you’re stuck on the side of the road. Of course, not everyone is out to get you, but the one time you are too trusting, you may find that that’s the case.
Breaking down at the side of the road is not ideal for anyone, but with these tips, you won’t be stuck!