The 5 Most Common Roadside Emergencies (and How to Prevent Them)

32 million drivers experienced car breakdowns in 2015, the most recent year we have a quality statistic. What’s interesting is the study found car breakdowns are happening more frequently every year.

That’s not surprising since cars on the road get older every year too. While it used to be uncommon for someone to drive a car older than 8 years, the average age of a car on the road is now 11.8 years old. While new cars can have problems too, the older a car gets the more likely they start developing issues.

And when those issues strike, you get caught on the side of the road. So how can you prepare for the most common roadside emergencies? Here’s how to plan.

A Flat Tire

Whether your tires are old or you hit debris in the road, a flat tire can ruin your road trip.

Always keep your car stocked with a spare, a quality jack, and a tire iron. Take the time to learn to change a tire. Or Call Us. We can help.

A Dead Battery

Battery issues are one of the most common car trouble problems. Keep jumper cables or an emergency jump kit in your car so you can jump your car anywhere. This is another car skill you should learn so you can help other drivers – or yourself!

An Overheating Engine

Your car can seem fine all winter long but your first long trip in the summer can lead to your car overheating. If your car overheats, let it cool down before trying to diagnose the problem.

Then check the coolant levels in the radiator. It’s a good idea to keeps some backup fluids like coolant or oil in your car, but water can do the trick in the pinch if the risk of freezing has passed.

Once the car is cool, and you’ve deemed everything looks in working order, start it up again and keep an eye on the heat. It’s a good idea to get your car checked by a mechanic right away.

You Get Stuck

Snow in winter or mud in spring, there’s a lot that nature can throw at your car. Make sure you always have a fully-stocked emergency kit in your car with flashlights, flares, food, blankets, and water. If you can, stock something that will give your car traction, like sticks and blankets for mud or snow, or kitty litter for icy roads.

Learn the best practices in case you get stuck on the side of the road.

You Lock Yourself Out

You’re not the first and you won’t be the last, lockouts occur all the time. The best way to avoid a lockout is to keep a spare key well hidden on your car. The second best is to have professional roadside service backing you up.

Be Prepared for the Most Common Roadside Emergencies

The most common roadside emergencies can happen to anyone, so make sure your car is ready. And if you truly want to be ready for anything, it helps to know you always have roadside emergency support.

Make sure you’re prepared for everything your car can throw at you. Make sure you have emergency road service.

Broken down

What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down on the Highway

Breaking down on a busy highway can be one of the most stressful situations. Not only is your day incredibly inconvenienced, but it can also be dangerous.

Although owning a new car may make you feel more confident, statistics show that drivers are breaking down more than ever. The advanced warning systems and alerts are nice, but increased electronics and technology can lead to more problems.

Regardless of if you’re driving an older car or a newer car, you need to know what to do if your car breaks down on the highway. How do you stay safe? Who do you call?

What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down on the Highway

Breaking down anywhere, whether it’s a grocery store parking lot or in the middle of the highway can easily disrupt and ruin your day. However, the way you go about handling the situation is incredibly important for fixing your car, getting you back on the road, and keeping you safe.

Keep reading for a step by step guide on what to do if your car breaks down on the highway.

1. Pull the Car Onto the Shoulder of the Highway

As soon as you notice something is wrong with the car, turn on your turn signal so you can safely proceed to the side of the highway or the shoulder. This can occur for many reasons, such as:

Your goal should be to get the car as far out of harm’s way as possible without worsening your situations (driving into a ditch, grinding into a guard rail, etc.).

2. Turn on Your Hazard Lights

If you haven’t already, you now need to turn on your hazard lights. We don’t advise this immediately after you notice a problem, as it could distract you from pulling the car over safely. However, once pulled over, you need to make yourself more visible to other drivers and indicate that your car is broken down.

3. Stay Calm

Now, you have a moment to collect yourself. Stay calm and don’t allow yourself to be overcome with emotions such as panic, anger, frustration, fear, etc. Take deep breaths in and out as you count down from 30 if you feel yourself getting worked up.

Remember, this happens all the time, you’re going to be okay.

4. Decide Whether or Not You Need to Get Out

If possible, we recommend staying in the car with your seatbelt on, windows up, and doors locked for your own safety. You’re much more visible and safer in a car than on foot on a busy highway. The exception would be if you feel like staying in the car is more dangerous.

5. Call the Professionals

Finally, you need to call the professionals to come to help you with your car. Even if you know how to swap out a flat tire with your spare, doing so on the side of the highway may be too dangerous. Let a professional flat tire service handle it.

However, they can also give your battery a jump, replace a faulty battery, tow you to safety, etc. Additionally, a professional roadside service can provide further insight into what to do if your car breaks down on the highway.

Need Roadside Assistance?

If you’re in a sticky situation and need help with roadside assistance, we can help, even if it means walking you through what to do if your car breaks down on the highway. However, our services in Arizona and New Mexico exist to help stranded drivers with everything from fuel delivery and battery replacement to flat tires and towing.