What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down: Roadside Assistance and Emergency Tips for Vehicle Safety

We’ve all been there: driving along the road, and suddenly, your car breaks down. Knowing what to do when your car breaks down can save you time, money, and most importantly, ensure your vehicle safety. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential roadside assistance steps to take when you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

Safely Pull Over

The first thing you should do when your car breaks down is to pull over to the side of the road safely. Use your turn signal to indicate your intentions to other drivers and gradually reduce your speed. If you’re on a highway, try to reach the nearest exit or rest area. Once you’ve pulled over, turn your wheel away from the road and engage your emergency brake.

Make Yourself Visible

Turn on your hazard lights immediately to alert other drivers that you’re experiencing car trouble. If you have flares or reflective triangles, place them about six feet behind your vehicle to make it more visible. This is especially important if you’re stranded during nighttime or in poor visibility conditions.

Call for Roadside Assistance

Once you’re safely parked and visible, it’s time to call for roadside assistance. Depending on your situation, you may need to call 911, especially if you’re blocking traffic or if there are signs of smoke or fire. Otherwise, contact your roadside assistance service or a local tow truck. Always keep a list of emergency numbers in your vehicle for quick reference.

Assess the Situation

While waiting for roadside assistance, you can start assessing the problem. Check for any warning lights on your dashboard, listen for any unusual sounds, and look for obvious issues like a flat tire. However, stay inside your vehicle as much as possible, especially if you’re on a busy road.

Stay Safe

It’s understandable to feel anxious while waiting for roadside assistance, but it’s crucial to stay inside your vehicle unless it’s absolutely necessary to get out. Keep your seatbelt fastened and avoid standing on the shoulder of the road. If you see smoke or flames, move a safe distance away from your vehicle.

Preventive Measures

Most car breakdowns can be prevented with regular maintenance. Keep an eye on your vehicle’s fluids, tire pressure, and lights. Visit a reputable repair shop for routine checks and always heed the warning signs your car gives you.


Knowing what to do when your car breaks down is incredibly important for every driver. These steps offer a straightforward guide to ensure you handle the situation as safely and efficiently as possible. Remember, the key is to stay calm, make yourself visible, and call for roadside assistance.