While no one ever plans for their car to break down, chances are it will happen eventually. When it does happen, do you know what to do? For most, car problems, especially on the side of the road, can be stressful for even the most experienced of drivers. Having a reaction plan and knowing what to do and how to stay safe are vital for reducing stress and preventing injuries.

After completing a driving school Brooklyn course, it is important to know how to stay safe out on the roads. Being prepared for the unexpected can help to alleviate stress, and help you to know how to handle the situation. Below are important tips on how to handle the unpredictable situation of car troubles, and how to remain safe.

Knowing what to do and what you shouldn’t do when you are forced to the side of the road with a vehicle break down, can help to keep you and other motorists safe.

When you first notice that you are experiencing car troubles, anything from a flat tire to mechanical failure or overheating, your first priority is to pull off to the side of the road to a safe location that is away from the flow of traffic.

  • Take your foot off the gas pedal, do not break suddenly.
  • Aim for the right shoulder of the road as your first response, only pull over to the left shoulder as a last resort.
  • When you reach the side of the road, be sure to turn your wheels away from traffic. This will prevent your car from crossing the lane into the path of traffic if struck from behind.
  • Stay inside your vehicle with your seat belt on whenever possible. Only exit your vehicle when necessary, exiting from the vehicle on the side that is away from traffic.

Make your vehicle visible once off to the side of the road.

  • Turn your hazard lights on to alert other drivers that something is wrong.
  • If it is dark, be sure to turn on your inside dome light.

Make sure that it is safe to get outside of the vehicle.

  • Before getting outside of your vehicle, make sure that it is safe to do so, especially if on a highway. If your gut instinct is telling you that it would be safer to remain inside the vehicle, listen to your instinct and remain inside with your seatbelt on.
  • If you made it to the right side of the road, exit the vehicle from the passenger side, away from traffic.
  • If you have determined that it is safe to exit your vehicle, place flares or reflective triangles behind your vehicle. Place the first one near your vehicle, the second one about ten feet behind the first, and the third even farther away.
  • If your engine is smoking, or you see flames under your hood, exit your vehicle as quickly as you can.

After establishing your safety, call for help.

  • If you have roadside assistance, give them a call and get help on the way.
  • If you do not have roadside assistance, call for a tow truck if necessary. If it is an emergency call 911.
  • If you don’t have a cell phone, don’t have service, or don’t have any charge left on your phone, place a white cloth or a piece of paper out your window and wait for highway patrol.
  • If you are alone at night, and experience car troubles, be cautious about accepting help from strangers. Stay inside your vehicle with your doors locked and your windows rolled up while waiting for help to arrive.
  • Remember, your safety must take precedence over your schedule or any other concerns that you might have at the time.

A Brooklyn driving school, such as Drive Rite Academy teaches students how to be safe drivers on the road. Be sure that you are prepared for anything that could happen while operating a vehicle on the roads!