We typically feel safe from harm driving in our cars everyday. It is designed to transport us efficiently and comfortably between destinations as long as everything is working at 100 percent. If you’re on a crowded street and you feel a breakdown is imminent, avoid the urge to freeze or panic.
Follow these guidelines instead to avoid any accidents or personal injury.
Do not jam on the brakes unless you want to risk losing control or being hit from behind. Turn on the hazard lights. Then take your foot off the accelerator gently and if necessary, slowly pump on the breaks. Guide your car to the shoulder or other safe spot away from the flow of traffic.
If you cannot get out of your car safely, remain inside it as long as there is no danger from the engine. Keep the doors locked. Your vehicle is the most protected place for you when traffic is whizzing by. Otherwise, look carefully outside and all around you before trying to get out the door that is on the side away from traffic.
Pop open the hood, which is the universal signal for a car in trouble. If you have reflectors or flares, position them behind the car to warn oncoming vehicles.
Make note of your location by looking for any street signs or landmarks. Then call for help from your cellphone. You will need to give your exact location, car make and model, license plate number, and the probably source of the problem. Wait for help to arrive nearby but at a safe location away from traffic.