Five Steps to Take if Your Vehicle Breaks Down in Traffic

An unexpected problem during a commute can be extremely frustrating, but will likely happen at some point during a vehicle's lifetime. The problem will likely be as simple as a flat tire, but could be something much more serious. A regular maintenance schedule can go a long way in preventing unexpected breakdowns and stops, but if it happens, remember the following steps. 

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The following five steps should be followed if you ever have to make an unexpected roadside stop:

Remove vehicle from traffic lanes as quickly and safely as possible

If you are experiencing any problems while moving, such as engine failure, you are still able to switch your vehicle into neutral and coast to the shoulder. If it is impossible to pull over immediately, then do so at the first safe opportunity that presents itself. 

Contact someone for help

Make sure to contact a loved one to let them know that your vehicle is broken down at a given location. If you are a CAA or other auto club member, contact them immediately.

Notify other drivers of your problem

 A parked vehicle can be extremely dangerous if other drivers do not notice that it is stopped. Turn on 4-ways and other exterior lights in order to make yourself as visible as possible. 

Safety trumps a quick fix

Don't try to pop the hood and fix the problem yourself unless it is absolutely safe to do so. Roadside repairs on a crowded highway can be extremely dangerous.


 A vehicle breaking down is highly inconvenient, but can be understandable. Notify those who are relying on you - such as a coworker or boss - and simply have patience. 

Posted on August 4, 2014 .