Actions to Take If Your Car Stops In The Middle Of The Road

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Actions to Take If Your Car Stops In The Middle Of The Road

Last updated on: March 25, 2024

Nobody plans for their car to break down,  but it can happen to anyone at any time. There’s always the chance that you might find yourself stranded on the side of the road with a stubborn engine or, worse, a flat tyre.

Dealing with a breakdown can be a stressful situation, but knowing what to do can make things a lot easier – and safer.

Whether you’re on a quiet back road or in the middle of city rush hour, this guide is here to arm you with the necessary steps to take in case your car stops unexpectedly.

Read on to learn what actions you should take if your car stops in the middle of the road.

Take Safety Precautions

Take Safety Precautions

As soon as you realise your car is experiencing issues, the first thing you need to do is to slow down and, if possible, try to steer your vehicle to the side of the road. Switch on hazard lights immediately to signal to other motorists that your vehicle is having problems and needs to give way.

Now, let’s say your car has decided to take a complete timeout and refuses to move an inch.

The instinct might be to exit your vehicle right away, but hold on there! Stay in your vehicle and keep your seatbelt fastened. It’s the safest place you can be until help arrives.

And what if you’re stuck in the middle of a traffic jam, and moving off the road isn’t an option?

First things first – don’t panic.

Just stay put in your car, keep those hazard lights flashing, and wait for help to arrive.

Remember, safety first always, even in the most intimidating of situations.

Related: What To Do If You Break Down on The Motorway?

Assessing the Situation

Once you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions, it’s time to make a quick assessment of the situation.

Now, we know your first instinct might be to get out of the car and take a look at what’s wrong, but it’s crucial to remember that if you’re stuck in the middle of the road, it’s usually safest to stay inside.

However, if your car has broken down on the left side and you’re sure you can easily exit from the side, that changes things a bit. In this scenario, it might be best to move out of your vehicle and get to a safer location. 

If you’re not comfortable doing so or if the situation is unclear, it’s better to stay put and wait for assistance.

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Call For Help

calling for help

In most cases, you’ll need some form of outside help to get your car moving again. Depending on where you are and what resources are available to you.

If you have a roadside assistance membership, now is the time to use it. Most memberships cover services like towing, battery jumps or tyre changes – all of which can be incredibly helpful when your car is stuck in the middle of the road.

If you don’t have a roadside assistance membership or if they are unable to assist you, consider calling a professional towing company.

Remember to choose a reputable and experienced company, as they will be responsible for safely transporting your vehicle.

If you have a classic car that requires special handling, make sure to mention it when calling for a tow truck. Some companies specialise in towing classic cars and have the necessary equipment and expertise to do so safely.

No matter which option you choose, it’s important to stay calm and communicate clearly with the service provider to ensure a smooth process.

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Waiting Patiently and Safely

While waiting for professional help to arrive, it’s imperative to stay patient and safe. The first and most important thing is to keep yourself calm. It’s easy to let anxiety get the better of you in such a situation but remember, panic only escalates the problem. Take a deep breath, remind yourself that help is on the way, and stay focused.

On the matter of accepting assistance, it may seem helpful when a well-meaning stranger stops to offer help, especially if you’re a woman waiting alone or if it’s nighttime. However, for safety reasons, it’s recommended to politely decline their offer. It’s best to wait for a professional mechanic or emergency service to handle the situation.

Lock your doors and only roll down the window a little to communicate with anyone who approaches your vehicle. If you feel uncomfortable at any point, it’s always okay to call emergency services for assistance.

Also, as tempting as it may be to try and fix the problem yourself, it’s generally not a good idea, unless you’re absolutely certain about what you’re doing. An incorrect fix can lead to further damage or even potential accidents, so it’s better to leave it to the professionals.

Lastly, remember to stay hydrated, especially if it’s hot outside. Always keep a bottle of water in your car for situations like these. It might take a while for help to arrive, and you don’t want to deal with dehydration on top of everything else.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your safety while waiting for help on the road.

Also Read: What will Happen If Your Car’s Wheels are Unbalanced?

Preventive Measures to Avoid Future Breakdowns

To ensure you don’t find yourself stranded ever again due to a sudden vehicle breakdown, it’s crucial to take some preventive measures in advance.

Here are some simple, yet effective, steps you can take to minimise the risk of future breakdowns:

  • Regular Maintenance Checks: Make sure to get your vehicle serviced at regular intervals as recommended by the manufacturer. These check-ups will ensure that potential issues are caught early before they escalate into full-blown problems.
  • Keep an Eye on the Dashboard Lights: Your car’s dashboard lights serve as the car’s early warning system, so don’t ignore them! If your check engine light comes on or any other warning lights flash, get your car checked by a professional.
  • Check Your Tyres: Regularly check your tyres for any signs of wear or damage. Also, ensure that they are always inflated to the correct pressure as indicated in your car’s manual.
  • Monitor Fluid Levels: Regularly check the levels of essential fluids like engine oil, brake fluid, coolant, and windshield washer fluid.
  • Listen to Your Car: Pay attention to any strange noises or abnormal behaviour from your vehicle. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t ignore these signs and get your car to a mechanic as soon as possible.

Taking these measures can significantly reduce your chances of experiencing unexpected car breakdowns. Remember, prevention is always better than cure (or in this case, repair)!

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide has equipped you with the necessary knowledge and tips to handle a car breakdown safely and efficiently. Be prepared, stay calm, and stay safe on the roads!

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