Steps to Take When Your Vehicle Becomes Disabled on the Highway

December 18, 2019 12:12 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Vehicle breakdowns happen all the time, and they can happen to anyone. First and foremost, don’t panic—as soon as you realize your car or big rig is having trouble, take measures to get off the road safely. Here are five steps to follow when you’re behind the wheel of a disabled vehicle in Salt Lake City, UT:

  • Pull off the road: Leaving your vehicle in the middle of the road is a dangerous thing to do, so start making your way to the side of the road the moment you notice a problem. Ideally, you want to get over to the right shoulder. This is the safest spot to pull over and wait for help, but be cautious while merging over, since other drivers may not be paying attention.
  • Engage your hazard lights: Use your turn signals to make your way over to the right, then engage your hazard lights. Turning on your hazard lights alerts other drivers that you’re stopped with no intention of moving anytime soon. If you have road flares, set them out behind your vehicle in addition to your hazards (or in place of hazard lights that are not working).
  • Call for help: Once safely off the road, you need to call for help. Call 911 if you’re stopped in an unsafe section of the highway or smoke is coming out from under the hood of your vehicle. In all other situations, call for roadside assistance. You might have this service through your auto insurance company, credit card, AAA, etc.
  • Stay inside your vehicle: No matter how far off the road you are, stay in the vehicle and keep your seatbelt on. Exiting the vehicle is a risk—especially when you’re on or near a busy roadway. Other vehicles could drift onto the shoulder where you’re standing and hit you.
  • Stay safe if getting out: If you must get out of your car, exit on the side farthest away from traffic. Check what you need to check, then get back inside, put your seatbelt on and wait for roadside assistance to arrive.

Luckily, there are things you can do to help prevent vehicle breakdowns:

  • Schedule routine maintenance: Keeping up with routine vehicle maintenance is the key to avoiding breakdowns. Record important maintenance and services, and ask your auto mechanic to send reminders.
  • Check fluid levels often: Inadequate oil, coolant or other fluid levels is the main reason for vehicle breakdowns. It only takes a few minutes to check all the fluids in your car. Do this at least once a month and before road trips.
  • Pay attention to dashboard warning lights: Your dashboard warning lights will alert you of any issues with car components, including the engine, oil, battery, brakes, tire pressure and more. Don’t ignore these warning lights.
  • Drive safely: Your driving habits affect the performance of your vehicle. Slamming your brakes can wear down brake pads and rotors, while excessively accelerating wastes gas and strains the drivetrain.

If you’re ever broken down on the highway in the Salt Lake City, UT area, call AMR Auto Repair & Towing for help. Contact us for roadside assistance and we will send a trained professional your way!

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