When your car breaks down, it's frustrating and stressful. You may not know what to do or where to go, especially if you're on the side of the highway. Here are four safety tips to keep in mind while you wait for roadside service:
1. Let other drivers know
The most important thing is to let other drivers know that you're breaking down. Turn on your signal indicating the side of the road you're pulling to. Once you're pulled over, turn on your hazard lights. If you have safety cones and there isn't traffic, put them a few feet from your car. If there's traffic, do not get out of your car. Hang a piece of white cloth from your window.
2. Work on the repair only when it's safe
If you know what the problem is, make the necessary repairs only when it's safe to do so. If you can fix the problem from the opposite side of traffic, do so. However, if you have a flat tire on the same side as traffic, it's safer to wait for roadside assistance than to get out and put on a spare tire. Get out of your car through the passenger door if you leave.
3. Call 911
If you can't pull over to the shoulder, and your car is stuck in a lane of traffic, call 911 immediately. A police car will help you stay safe while you're waiting for assistance. The police car can shield your car from traffic. The police officer will also close the lane and direct traffic. If you are in the lane near the median, get out of the car and wait for the police in the median. If you are beside the shoulder, get out and wait there. It's more dangerous to wait in or near your car if your car is in a driving lane.
4. Consider weather conditions
If it's very hot, roll down your windows and put up a windshield screen. Take off unnecessary clothing and drink water from your emergency kit. Do not get out of your car or attempt to walk. If it's wintertime, run your heat about every fifteen minutes if it still works. Put on any extra jackets you can find and wrap up in a blanket. If the road is icy or slick, or if your heater doesn't work, get out of your car and seek shelter if there is a building nearby. Stay as far from the road as possible while walking.
These tips will keep you safe while you wait for roadside assistance. Contact a service like Ruhls Diesel Repair for more help.