Breakdowns can occur at any time or any place. They are generally unexpected and scary experiences that we want to avoid. Being prepared in case of a roadside emergency is crucial to your safety and the safety of your passengers. Here are some tools you’ll need to get back on the road safely and as soon as possible.

  • When you have a breakdown, stay as far away from traffic as possible. Look for the emergency lane, or even a safe grassy area off the road. This especially applies when breakdowns occur on busy road or highways.
  • In the event of a blow out, it is ok to drive on the rim until you get to a safe area. Your safety and the safety of your passengers is more important than the cost of replacing a rim.
  • If you are unable to get your car to a safe area, move away from your car. Also, it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit in the trunk filled with flares and triangles to alert other drivers to your situation.
  • Place flares and/or triangles a good distance from your vehicle, which is often further away than you might think. Hazard lights can sometimes be mistaken for running lights, which may cause other drivers to steer into the emergency lane.
  • If someone stops to help, stay in your car with the doors locked. Crack your window and ask them to call for help if you are unable.
  • The same rules apply if you have been in an accident. Do not move your vehicle until the police arrive. Set up your warning markers and get away from other vehicles if possible.
  • Remember that well maintained vehicle is less likely to break down. Are you up-to-date on your preventative maintenance needs? If not, schedule an appointment now.
  • Learn how to use your vehicle’s jack in case of a flat. Keeping a can of Fix-a-Flat in the trunk is also a good short-term fix.
  • High temperatures in an unattended car can reach dangerous levels in just a few minutes. Never leave children or pets in an unattended car in the heat.
  • Be sure to periodically check your lights. High beams, turn signals and brake lights must be in good working condition, and headlights must be aimed correctly.
  • Cleaning your lights on a regular basis helps increase the efficiency of your bulbs. Replace your bulbs regularly to avoid burnouts. If your headlights are hazy, ask your garage about headlight restoration service or get a do-it yourself kit from your nearest car care shop.

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