Cars break down all the time but you never think it will happen to you until it does. Your vehicle can tired and worn from changes in climate, poor road conditions, and improper car maintenance. When your car has trouble on the highway, the best way to handle this emergency situation is to remain calm, analyze the situation as best as you can, and take the necessary steps to get you to safety.
At Casey’s Automotive in Chantilly, VA, our team of experts assist our customers with the necessary auto repairs and maintenance services to make sure vehicle is running efficiently. Our friendly and caring staff knows your car breakdown can be stressful, and we are here to help you get your car back in tip-top shape. Our dedicated auto repair specialists provide regular car maintenance and repairs to ensure your car is safe to drive. Below are seven steps to take when your car breaks down.
1. Stay Calm
Let’s say your car engine starts smoking while you’re on your way to work. What’s the first thing you do? Remain calm and keep yourself from panicking and breaking suddenly. Be sure to signal carefully and attempt to reach a safe spot on the side of the road away from moving traffic.
2. Turn On Your Emergency Lights
Switching on your hazard lights will alert other drivers around you to proceed with caution. With your emergency lights on, other drivers will know you are experiencing an emergency situation, which will help you get to safety as well as reduce any accidents.
3. Pull Your Car Over to the Shoulder
If possible, pull your car to the shoulder of the road or get to an exit. When you have moved your car to a safe area, park your car and use the emergency break to prevent your car from moving. This keeps you from becoming a hazard on the road and impeding traffic.
4. Check If It’s Safe
Before getting out of your vehicle, check if there is oncoming traffic. If there’s too much traffic on the driver’s side, you may exit through the passenger side. After you exit, find a safe place to wait. Standing next to your vehicle on the side of a highway can be very dangerous. If it’s too dark outside and it feels unsafe, it’s best to remain inside, close the windows, and lock all the doors. Whether you are on a busy highway or by yourself, it can be easy to forget this when you’re in a panic or feeling anxious. Make your safety a priority in situations such as these. Remain calm and use your best judgement.
5. Increase Your Car’s Visibility
If you have decided to exit your vehicle, use flares or reflective triangles to place behind your car so other drivers will be able to see you better. If you have neither, you may turn on your interior light or leave your hazard lights on. While this increases you and your car’s visibility, it will also bring awareness of your car emergency to other drivers and possible police officers around you.
6. Assess the Damage
Once you have checked if the road is clear, you can exit your car and see what may have caused your car to break down. If you know a thing or two about cars, feel free to pop open your hood to see if you can figure out what went wrong. If you aren’t well-versed in automobiles, then it may be best to wait for professional help to arrive.
7. Call for Assistance
Contact your roadside assistance provider or 911. When calling your insurance company, have your car information ready as they will ask you questions to confirm and see your coverage. They will also walk you through your emergency situation and professionals will arrive shortly to help you. If your car needs to be towed or is beyond repair, call a family member or friend for extra help and maybe even a ride.
Prevent Your Car From Breaking Down With Casey’s Automotive
At Casey’s Automotive, we understand how overwhelming it can be when your car breaks down. Our qualified team specializes in auto repairs and maintenance inspections for all makes and models in the Sterling and Chantilly, Virginia area. We will provide any service you need from engine and brake repairs to steering and suspension. We also have courtesy loaner vehicles available for customers whose repairs take longer than expected. Casey’s Automotive has been recognized for its quality auto repairs and exceptional customer services, which makes us the go-to automotive shop in Northern Virginia.
Let our auto specialists help you keep your car up and running. Contact us to set up an appointment with a Casey’s Automotive staff member today!