Staying Safe When Car Troubles Strike

Thump! Screech! Whoosh! None of these are sounds that you want to hear coming from your car while driving. But unfortunately, problems with tires, motors, transmissions, and other parts of the car still happen. And sometimes, they happen at the most inconvenient times, like at the side of a highway or on a dark road at night.

Thinking Ahead

Like all other car problems, the first step of dealing with a disabled vehicle is to stay calm. While it can be scary and stressful, panicking will only make things worse. To avoid dealing with a breakdown in a dark or dangerous area, pull over at the first signs of trouble. Look for a place that is well-lit and away from the road, like a parking lot or rest area. Listen to your vehicle and your instincts, and you can avoid having to stop in a dangerous spot.

When you do pull over, alert other drivers. This is especially important if you are on the side of the road or in a busy area. Put on your emergency flashers. If possible, hang a white piece of paper or cloth from your driver’s side window. This lets other drivers know that your vehicle is disabled, so that they can safely move around you. When other drivers see that your vehicle is disabled, they might stop and see if you need help. However, you don’t have to accept their help if you feel uncomfortable. If someone approaches your car, stay in your own vehicle, and call 911 if you feel endangered at any point.

Staying Safe

You should stay in your car the whole time, unless you have pulled over to a safe space like a parking lot. If your vehicle is on the side of the road, do not get out of the car unless you have to. Exit through the side of the car that is not facing traffic. If you’re working on the car yourself, stay on the side that is farthest from the road, and never have your back to the oncoming traffic. If a driver is speeding, drunk, or distracted, they might not see you on the side of the road, and you could be seriously injured. This is why the best course of action is to call for help and then stay safely inside your car.

During a breakdown, having the right resources can save a lot of time. If you belong to a service like AAA, keep their information in a handy spot, like a wallet or glove compartment. Describe your location as best you can, giving mile markers if you know them, and they can assist with repair or towing. If you have a friend who is willing to pick you up, make sure you return to your car as soon as possible, so that police do not tow it away as an abandoned vehicle.

Car troubles are something that most people deal with at some point in their lives. It isn’t ever a fun situation, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can be safely back on the road in no time!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.


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