However well you maintain your car, issues can still arise at any time. Highways also seem to attract car breakdowns. In addition to being extremely inconvenient, experiencing car troubles in the middle of traffic can be dangerous. Knowing what to do during an emergency like this might save your life.
Whether it’s a sputtering engine, flashing warning lights, or difficulty accelerating, these signs could suggest that your car might be on the verge of stalling. If this happens, stay calm and consider doing the following:
1. Pull over to the side when you can
As soon as you experience some indications of stalling, you will only have a few seconds before it completely shuts down. Turn your hazard lights on to signal other drivers that you’re in trouble.
Drive toward the side as far as you can from the highway. Generally, it’s safer to pull over to the right shoulder as it has more space away from traffic.
Stay inside if your car cannot pull over to the side or is stuck in a traffic lane. Daring to stand or cross the highway is risky. Many drivers don’t expect pedestrians to be there and may hit you.
2. Stay in the car
The car provides you a layer of protection from collision, the elements or other safety risks on the road. Moreover, other drivers can see a stopped car with its hazard lights more easily than they would a person.
Unless your car breaks down on a dangerous stretch of road, like a sharp turn or a narrow bridge, you should wait for help inside. If you need to exit the car, it’s often safer to go out through the passenger side. Use your best judgment, and when outside, stand as far from traffic as you can.
3. Call for help
When you are in a secure location, call for help. Attempting to solve the problem by stepping out of the car could put your life in danger. Aside from being hit by another vehicle, you may attract bad actors looking to take advantage of your situation. Lock the doors and wait for rescue to come to you.
Stalled cars are a magnet for accidents. When your car starts to struggle or emit unusual noises, you’ll need to determine your next course of action quickly. You might cause an accident if you suddenly hit the brakes or slow down.
If a driver rear-ends you despite your best efforts to pull over away from traffic, consider contacting a lawyer. A driver who crashes behind a stopped vehicle may be found at fault.