This month has been deemed National Youth Traffic Safety Month, and in an effort to teach young drivers more about traffic safety, AutoMD.com is providing some handy tips about how to deal with breakdowns.
Get your car off the road:
It might sound obvious, but if your car isn’t working properly, its not wise to stop it in an active lane. If possible move it out of the way, and when safely off the road, apply the parking brake, and steer the wheel in the opposite direction of the road. This is so your car doesn’t roll into traffic.
Call for help:
It’s rare to find a teen these days without a smartphone, so it’s a good idea to put it to good use. Some car company’s offer roadside assistance, or if you have a membership with AAA give them a call. Make sure you have a flashlight, or something similar in your car for such an emergency.
Alert Others with lights and signals:
Whenever you are experiencing a problem also be sure to turn on your hazard lights or four-way blinkers. Having a flashlight, flare or triangle is especially handy when you run into issues late at night. Place a flare, or triangle about 50 feet away from your vehicle, and if you need assistance from police, try raising your hood, or tying a white cloth to your cars handle.
Stay in Your Car Unless it’s Unsafe to do so:
While it may be tempting to walk around your car trying to identify a problem; if you just don’t know, or are waiting for help, stay in your car. Especially on the highway, when leaving your car you can put yourself and others at risk of an accident. Standard stranger-danger rules apply here too: lock the doors, and roll up the windows. If you don’t trust someone offering help, roll down your window, rather than opening the door for them. If you must exit the car, use the door on the opposite side of the roadway, to prevent walking into the road.
If you need to repair, or replace your tire, be sure to pull over on a flat, even surface so that you can use the jack safely. Often times cars have all the right tools for dealing with a flat tire, but it’s becoming commonplace for a vehicle to not have a spare tire, and only have a tire-repair kit instead, so make sure you’e familiar with what tools are in the trunk before driving.