Breaking down when you’re on the road is a stressful situation, but being prepared makes it easier to manage. If you find yourself stuck on the side of the road, follow these three steps:
Find a Safe Location: The most important step in the event of a breakdown is to get safely off the road. Find a spot that's well-lit and away from other vehicles. In some circumstances, it may be impossible to get to a shoulder or a parking lot, so you should move over as much as possible and turn on your hazards, so other drivers see you.
Assess the Situation: Once you're in a safe location, you can assess the situation. Some of the most common roadside breakdowns are related to flat tires, engine trouble, and overheating. While tire issues are usually easy to detect, it may be challenging to diagnose issues under the hood.
Roadside Assistance: Many insurance policies offer roadside assistance to help drivers figure out what’s wrong with their car. After inspecting your vehicle, call your insurance provider directly or use the company’s designated assistance hotline and explain your situation. They'll send a service technician who can further assess the situation and recommend a solution. If your vehicle needs to be towed, the service may be included in your roadside package.