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4 Tips to Follow When Your Car Breaks Down in the Middle of Nowhere

The weather is finally getting a bit warmer, and you’re feeling the urge to turn off your mobile phone and laptop and go for a long, leisurely road trip to explore the lovely and picturesque state of Washington. Suddenly, in the middle of nowhere, your car breaks down, and you have no idea what to do or who to call for help. 

This setup is usually the start of some B horror movie, but that’s because it’s a fairly run-of-the-mill scenario and can happen to anyone. While it’s unfortunate, this doesn’t have to ruin your trip, nor does it mean that you’re in for a particularly harrowing experience. As with most things in life, a bit of prep time can help you navigate this scenario calmly and with relative ease. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Emergency Lights

The National Motorists Association recommends that drivers turn on their hazard or emergency lights as soon as their car breaks down. This will act as a signal to other drivers that something is up and you need help. You will need to keep them on until help arrives. It matters little if your car broke down in the middle of the night or during the day – turning on the hazard lights is a sort of smoke signal that you need assistance urgently, and either a kind motorist or a state trooper navigating the roads will be able to help you right away.

Another way of letting other motorists on the road know that you need help is to get out of the car and prop up your hood. This will let other drivers know that something is up and that they should drive towards you with considerable caution since your vehicle has broken down.

  • Call for Help

Before heading out, always keep a few phone numbers on hand in case you run into any trouble on the road. Try to call a local service. If you are traveling within Washington state, for instance, make sure that you have reliable service to call to come to help you out. Alternatively, you can use an app to reach Spokane Towing Services so that you’re not out in the cold for too long. You may also consider calling a mechanic, your car insurance company, or any roadside assistance for help as you wait. 

Of course, if things are especially dire and you’re not sure what to do, then dial 911 or the local police department for help. Always remember that if you’re on a highway or a crowded road, then you should stay in your vehicle first. Look to see if there’s a way to fix the damage, or try to locate the mechanical problem. If you absolutely need to get out of your car as you wait for help, then make sure it’s parked at a safe spot, and that the road around you is clear. 

Get Off the Road

  • Get Off the Road

If possible, and you have the chance to notice a minor or major mechanical issue in your or another driver’s vehicle while on the road, then do your best to safely get off the road as fast as possible. Try to aim for the right shoulder of the road, slow down, and pull away from the main traffic. Consumer reports documenting traffic accidents strongly recommend that you pull over as soon as you can to a safe, and keep as far away from moving traffic as possible so that you don’t encounter further trouble as you seek help. 

Furthermore, make sure to turn your wheels away from the road, and pull the emergency brake. If you absolutely have to park on a hill or slope, then be sure to turn the car’s wheels away from the road to prevent yourself from rolling into traffic.

  • Set Up Flares

Before going on a road trip, regardless of its duration, you should take flares or even triangles with you in case of emergency. As soon as you run into any trouble, place the flares or triangles with reflectors behind your car so that you may alert other drivers to your location. 

That will prevent anyone from driving up to you too quickly, resulting in a collision, while at the same time it will communicate to them that you need help.

Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere is anxiety-inducing and may cause you such unease that it ruins future adventures with your car. As such, it’s important to be prepared when you’re out on the road, and while hopefully, you won’t run into any trouble, it helps to know what to do, just in case.

Allen Brown
Allen Brown
Allen Brown is a versatile author passionate about writing about the latest trends. With a keen interest in exploring the latest advancements in technology, Allen loves to write about various topics, from artificial intelligence and cybersecurity to software development, Home Improvement, Business, Digital Marketing and more.


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