National Math Trail

Education Adventure

What to Do When a Car Breaks Down on Highways

When you suddenly have a problem with your car, you may need to follow these suggestions, mainly if you are on the highway. When you see the first signs of a problem with your car, slowly take your foot off the accelerator. Do not apply hard or sudden braking. Carefully move the vehicle towards the shoulder or curb.

If you are on the highway, try reaching the exit. Let the driver behind you know your intentions. If you need to change lanes, be aware of the mirror and surrounding traffic.

Make your car visible when you leave the road.

Install a reflective triangle behind the vehicle to warn other drivers. Use an emergency flasher. When it is dark, turn on the interior light. Make sure you can safely replace flat tires even if you are not near traffic. Contact a towing service San Jose immediately to assist you.

Replace the tires as usual.

Remember that safety must take precedence over your schedule and other concerns. However, if the car cannot be repaired, it is best to get the help of a specialist. Do not try to stop other vehicles. Pull up on the hood, tie a white object to the radio antenna, or hang it from the window to let police officers and tow truck drivers know they need help.

Do not stand behind or beside the vehicle.

If the car is in the lane, leave the car and wait for help to arrive. When the car is safely closed, stay in the car with the door locked. Ask for help using your mobile phone. If someone stops and offers support, open the window a little and ask the police to call you.

Watch out for uniformed police officers and other responders.

All interstate highways and major roads are regularly patrolled. In addition, some streets have a special “Call for Help” phone. 

Do not walk on the highway, especially in bad weather.

However, if you can walk to the resource without jeopardizing your physical or personal safety, try the direct route on foot. Avoid traffic as much as possible and walk on the right side of the lane. Do not try to cross a multi-lane highway.