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What to Do if Your Vehicle Breaks Down

car breaks downCar trouble can be a nightmare any time of the year, but winter weather conditions can make even common mishaps more dangerous.

According to PennDOT, it’s Winter Driving Awareness Week. We’ve already shared some winter weather driving tips to help you stay safe in the ice and snow. But what if your car breaks down? The first step to staying safe is to not panic. Check out the tips below in the case of a wintertime breakdown.

What to do if your car breaks down

1. Pay attention to your vehicle and assess the problem. If you notice steering problems, unusual noises, smoke, or other warning signs, remain calm. Don’t forget to be aware of your surroundings; note your location, put your blinker on, and find a place to pull over.

2. Carefully pull off of the road, if possible. The ideal place to pull over is, of course, a parking lot or other well-lit area away from the flow of traffic. If you can’t safely make it to a parking area, pull off to the shoulder as far from the road as possible to avoid being hit. If you cannot pull off the road, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.  Do not attempt to push the vehicle to a safer location. If your lights are disabled at night, don’t attempt to drive in the dark. If your car is stuck in the road, exit the vehicle and move away from the traffic to avoid being hit by another car.

3. Do your best to make sure other drivers can see you when you break down near the flow of traffic. Turn on hazard lights, lift the hood, and put up flares or warning triangles if you have them. This will help keep you and your passengers safe and help other drivers avoid a crash.

4. Make sure the coast is clear before exiting the vehicle. If you’re far enough from the road, it may be safest to stay in your vehicle until help arrives – especially in the winter. On the other hand, if you’re close to the road and may be at risk of being hit, carefully exit the vehicle and don’t stand too close in front of or behind it. If your car is emitting smoke or flames, get out and move a safe distance away from the vehicle.

5. Call for help. It’s a good idea to invest in a service like AAA, or car insurance that offers roadside assistance in case of an emergency. If you don’t have one of these options, call a tow truck or 911 for assistance.

Remember to stay calm, and put your safety and the safety of your passengers first, to keep inconvenient car trouble from becoming a tragedy. If you get into a car accident, our Scranton car accident lawyer is here to help. Call or chat with us today for a free consultation.

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