What to Do if Your Car Breaks Down?

Traveling for a weekend getaway, vacation, or a day trip is an exciting and fun activity you can enjoy with friends and family. Unfortunately, your car can break down and take away from the fun and excitement of the trip.

There are a variety of ways you can prepare for a breakdown. At Three Rivers Auto Glass, we have together some of our best tips for dealing with a broken-down car.

Prevention is Key

One of the best ways to avoid this situation altogether is to keep up with your regular car maintenance. It is essential to schedule regular service appointments for your vehicle. By paying attention to the preventative maintenance of your car, you can avoid many of the standard car problems and have them fixed before you end up broken down on the highway.

In addition to regular preventative maintenance, you will also want to inspect your vehicle regularly. Before your trip, be sure t check the condition of your windshield wipers, check fluid levels, and check to make sure your car hasn’t had any recent recalls.

Put Together an Emergency Kit

Broken down carIn some cases, no matter how well you maintain your car, a break down can still happen. In case of a breakdown, it is crucial to have an emergency kit packed in your car. In addition to having your phone and a charger for it, you will also want to include:

  • First aid kit
  • Flares and white flag
  • Work gloves and change of clothes
  • Flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • Maps
  • Jack and ground mat
  • Essential repair tools and duct tape
  • Water and paper towels
  • Nonperishable food, drinking water, and medicines
  • Extra windshield washer fluid
  • Emergency blankets, coats, and towels

How to Properly Handle a Breakdown  

When your car breaks down, be sure to remain calm and brake with caution. Avoid slamming on your brakes or cranking the steering wheel. Instead, take your foot slowly off of the gas, decelerate, and if your car is still maneuverable, guide the vehicle off the road. This will help you avoid being rear-ended by other drivers. Other tips include:

Try to exit the highway– If you can, try to get off of the highway and find an open area free of traffic or a parking lot. If you can’t exit the highway, be sure to pull off to the right of the road, avoiding the left lane, bridges, or sharp curves.

Stay visible– After you’ve pulled over, be sure to remain in clear view of other drivers, especially at night or in rainy weather. Use road flare or emergency triangles as well as your hazard lights and dome lights to alert traffic of your vehicle.

Assess the damage– Check the damage and see if the issue is something you can fix on your own. While you may be able to change a flat tire yourself, if your engine is smoking or your brakes seem compromised, you may need to call for help instead.

Call for help– Rather than flagging down other drivers; it is recommended that you call a towing service in the area. They will have professionals who can handle repairs on-site or will be able to get your car to a mechanic who can.

Remain in your car– While waiting for help, stay inside of the vehicle. It can be difficult for other drivers to see you on the highway, especially at night, so it is crucial to remain in the car for your safety.

Use these tips to stay safe and calm in the event of a breakdown. If you experience any chips or cracks in your windshield during your travels on the highway, be sure to visit Three Rivers Auto Glass for all of your Auto Glass needs. Pittsburgh vehicle owners and those in the surrounding area can take advantage of our high-quality replacement materials and superior customer service.

Denny Toth
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