As you can imagine, breaking down on the highway puts you at great risk of bodily injury from fast-moving passing cars. Since you cannot completely avoid breaking down on the highway, follow these guidelines to keep yourself safe if this unfortunate event happens to you:
Turn On Your Emergency Flashers
The minute you notice a problem with your vehicle, you should turn on your emergency flashers. The purpose of the flashers is to notify other drivers that you are experiencing a mechanical problem and may be moving slowly or erratically on the highway. If you do not know how to turn on the flashers in your car, you can find their location and operation instruction in the owner's manual of your car.
Move Your Vehicle Off of the Highway
Especially on a busy highway or freeway, you must get your vehicle off of the highway's surface for your safety and the safety of other drivers. Even if it means damaging your car further, getting off the road is paramount. You should always pull to the right side of the roadway and off of the highway completely if you are able.
Inspect the Damage to Your Vehicle if Safe
Only get out to inspect damage if your car is in a safe area that you are familiar with. If there is any question about your safety and security, then call 911 and ask for assistance.
If you feel safe, then you should get out and check the problem with your vehicle. This will allow you to relay information about the problem accurately when you call a tow truck.
Call for Assistance
Once you know what type of assistance that you need, you should call 911 or a tow truck directly. It is common for towing companies to charge an extra fee when they are dispatched by law enforcement, so if you have the ability to call your own tow truck then you should do so.
Place Emergency Flares on the Highway
Finally, you should always carry a few flares that you can use to mark the roadway leading up to your disabled vehicle. As long as it is safe to exit your car, then you should place emergency flares along the side of the roadway a reasonable distance before your vehicle's location. The flares serve to warn other drivers that they need to slow for an upcoming disabled vehicle or accident on the roadway.