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What to Do if Your Car Breakdowns



On the evening of Valentine’s Day, a drunk driver struck and killed a Good Samaritan who was helping someone in a broken down vehicle. On the Eastex Freeway, the drunk driver hit a truck, crossed all five lanes of traffic, and struck the 31-year-old man trying to help. Unfortunately this tragedy shows the danger of the highways, especially during a holiday weekend.

Here’s what you should do if your car breaks down on a highway.

Get to the Shoulder or Stay Where You Are

If your vehicle begins to act strangely and begins to slow down, first turn on your hazard lights and then get to the outer right lane as quickly and safely as possible. As your vehicle begins to stop, try to get onto the shoulder as far away from traffic as possible.

Unfortunately, your vehicle may die and stop immediately, leaving you stranded in the middle of the highway. However tempting it may be, never get out of your vehicle. Immediately turn on your hazard lights.

Make Your Vehicle Visible & Safe

If you’re stuck in the middle of the highway and it’s dark, turn your interior lights on.

If you’re on the shoulder, turn on your interior lights and keep your hazards on as well. Put your emergency brake on and turn the steering wheel away from the road to prevent your car from rolling into traffic. While flares can be very effective in warning drivers you’re ahead, it’s extremely dangerous to get out of your car on a highway, even if you’re on the shoulder.

Call for Help

Once you’ve safely pulled to the side or have made vehicle visible, call for help. It’s important to know where you are so you can direct a police officer or tow truck to the appropriate place. If you have a roadside assistance provider, call them for help. If you don’t, call a tow truck to pickup your car and take it to a repair shop.If you have Google Maps on your phone it can give you a list of nearby repair shops and towing companies. If you feel that you are in danger or are a danger to others because your vehicle is hard to see, call the police immediately for assistance.

Pop the Hood

The universal sign for a broken-down vehicle is a popped hood. If you can safely get out of your vehicle to pop the hood, do so to let other drivers know what’s happened.

Stay with Your Vehicle

It may be tempting to have someone come pick you up from the side of the road, but it’s important to stay with your vehicle. If you call roadside assistance, they cannot do anything to repair your vehicle or move it unless the driver is present with the membership card.

Trying to cross a highway is incredibly dangerous, especially at night. However, if you’re forced to look for help because you are in an unfamiliar area, bring a flashlight or some kind of reflective device with you.

Breaking down on the highway is frightening and is a possibility for every driver. Keep these tips in mind to protect yourself and other drivers on the road. If you’ve been hit by a reckless or drunk driver, contact Colley & Colley law firm in Tyler, Texas for a free consultation. We’re dedicated to providing you with the best legal counsel in East Texas.