Tips For A Vehicle Breakdown On A Highway
Few things are more frustrating than when your vehicle breaks down on the highway, either from engine trouble or because of a flat tire. However, many people don't realize that this is actually one of the most dangerous times for any driver. Getting outside of your vehicle on a busy highway or at a bustling intersection to change a tire or try to fix your windshield wipers can easily cost you your life. Many drivers are killed every year in exactly these circumstances. This is why it's vital to know how to handle this situation safely. The following tips can help.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Knowing what to do in an emergency and being able to do it are not the same thing. This is why it's important to prepare ahead of time in case you ever have a breakdown on the highway. Make sure that you always have a fully charged and functioning cell phone with you in your vehicle so that you can call for help. Also remember to store reflective triangles or flares (as well as a flashlight) in your vehicle. Finally, make sure that your spare is fully inflated and that you actually have the tools for changing the tire.
Try to Stay in Your Vehicle
If you're on a busy road or highway, you should never get out of your vehicle to check damage or make repairs. Instead, try to drive the vehicle to a safer spot before you get out. If an accident has occurred, use hand gestures to try to let the other driver know that you should both pull off the road to somewhere safer.
If the Vehicle Is Not Drivable
If you cannot drive the vehicle away from the busy traffic, it's probably safer to remain inside your vehicle and wait for help. If you have a cell phone with you (as you should), use it to call for help (a tow truck, the police or the highway patrol). You should have the number of a towing and recovery company written down and stored in your vehicle so that you have someone to call for help. Do not wait for this help outside of your vehicle. This is usually a very bad (and possibly fatal) idea.
Once You've Pulled to the Side
Assuming you were able to get your vehicle away from the road or highway, position reflective triangles or flares around it. This will allow other drivers to know that you're there so they can avoid you. You should also turn on your hazard lights, if they're working.
Drive on the Rim
Even if you have a flat tire or blowout, you should move the vehicle to a safer spot before trying to change the tire. Yes, this may well damage the rim in the process. However, replacing a rim on your vehicle is a relatively minor expense when compared with the possibility of losing your life.