The inevitable happens: cars break down. Sometimes, you’ll walk outside in the morning to head to work, and your car won’t crank. Other times, your car decides to malfunction while you’re driving 65 mph down the highway. If this is the case, there are a few tips you can follow to help ensure your safety and help make the situation easier to handle.
1. Pull Over (Way Over)
If you can manage, drive your car to the nearest exit. In many cases, however, the car will not make it that far, so just be sure to move your car as far away from the road as you can safely manage. You should use signal lights if you switch lanes or to communicate your intentions to merge into the emergency lane or onto the median. Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers that you are having car troubles and are parked.
2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
If you have moved your car safely away from traffic, be sure to check your mirrors and inspect your surroundings for various safety hazards before stepping out of your vehicle. If the situation looks particularly dangerous, or if a stranger pulls up behind you, remain in your vehicle and lock your doors. If you feel unsafe, you should always call the police.
3. You May Be Able to Determine the Issue
Sometimes, newer model cars will have sensors attached to indicator lights on your dashboard. This could help you understand if the problem is with your battery, engine, fuel levels, or if you have a problem with your tire pressure. You may need to reference your manual to determine what the lights mean. If your car is smoking or inflamed, exit the vehicle calmly and quickly and move as far away from it as you can.