It’s a worst-case scenario: your car stops working, and you’re stuck on the side of the road. Whether that road is a busy interstate or a less-traveled byway can make a difference in the steps you take after a breakdown, but there are general guidelines to follow, no matter what type of road you’re on.
Turn on your hazards and get to the shoulder.
Flip on your car’s hazard lights and pull over to the shoulder of the road, if you can do so safely. Once on the shoulder, you can take additional precautions to make your car more visible to traffic, like placing reflective triangles behind the vehicle. This should only be done if you can exit the vehicle safely! If you’re in an unsafe, or high-traffic area, remain in your vehicle and call for help.
Be cautious if you decide to work on the vehicle.
Never work on your car on the side that’s exposed to traffic. If you have a flat tire, do not attempt to change it unless you can get to the side of the road and face the side of the vehicle with the flat away from traffic.
Don’t attempt to drive with a flat tire.
Slow down gradually and slowly pull over to the side of the road. Driving on a flat can ruin the tire beyond repair.
Communicate your position.
Call your auto club or a tow truck for assistance. If you can safely do so, pop your hood up to alert help that your vehicle is in trouble.
Stay calm and be patient.
When you call for help, be as thorough as you can in your description of the problem. Your service provider should be able to give you an estimated wait time. Depending on the circumstances and your location, it could be a few minutes or a few hours. It helps to keep water, food and blankets (and maybe a good book!) packed in your car for these type of situations.
Let a friend or family member know your situation. If you’re ever in fear of your safety, do not hesitate to call 911. Car troubles are a pain in the best of situations, but don’t put your well-being, or that of your passengers, on the line in an attempt to speed things along.
For nearly 25 years Burt Brothers Tire and Service has provided the most reliable tires and auto repair throughout Utah. We only employ highly qualified mechanics, and our technicians are ASE-certified. For more information visit http://burtbrothers.com or visit one of our eight Salt Lake area locations.