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The Breakdown on Breaking Down: 6 To Do’s When Your Vehicle Fails

car with flat tire

Chances are, you’ve been there before: you hear a sputter, a hiss, or some other disconcerting noise, and your car slows to a stop. Anything from a simple flat tire to a completely blown engine can leave you stranded. Breaking down on a roadway, whether a side street or a major highway, is a headache to deal with and can be dangerous.

While it’s never convenient to have your car bring your plans to a halt, there are a few steps you can take to make it less dangerous, and make getting back on the road a smoother process.

So, what should you do the next time you break down?

  1.   Get as far off the road as possible. When you feel your car start to have troubles, steer it carefully to the side of the road (or into a nearby grassy area or parking lot if possible) and get as far away from traffic as possible. Try to avoid parking in a “blind spot”, such as an area immediately after a curve, where other motorists can’t see you until it’s too late.
  2. Call for help. As soon as you break down, call a friend or family member to come to your aid. You will also need to contact a towing service to take your car to a mechanic of your choice. If you feel it is necessary, call local authorities for assistance as well.
  3. DON’T get out of your car, unless there is a safe spot for you (like inside a nearby restaurant/store) or unless your vehicle posing some type of threat (such as smoking and potentially catching on fire). In a typical roadside situation, you are safer inside your car than you are standing beside it, or beside the road. If another driver does accidentally run up on your breakdown, you are a lot more likely to be injured, or even killed, if you are standing outside of your vehicle.
  4. Be smart about your location. If you are in a “not so great” part of town, or feel threatened by your surroundings, make sure your car doors are locked and windows are up while you wait for assistance to arrive.
  5. Be prepared. Having a car emergency kit can be a huge help. By having a box stocked with basic necessities like a flashlight, snacks, water, etc., you will be equipped to deal with a breakdown situation and be better able to stay comfortable while you wait for help.
  6. Prevention is key. Preventing car failure in the first place is the best way to handle a breakdown situation! Keep your car maintained by staying up-to-date on oil chances, fluid and brake checks, tire replacement, etc. By having a mechanic do a routine “check up” on your vehicle, you are far less likely to have a breakdown.

Here in Lakeland, if you’ve been injured as the result of a breakdown, whether from your own vehicle, another driver, or even from an unfortunate complication such as being robbed or mugged, Sessums Law Group has you covered. We can help you get the assistance you are owed from your own insurance company as well as the insurance providers of any other motorists involved.

Breakdowns happen, and you probably won’t see it coming. Remember, when the unexpected happens, we stand for YOU!

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