A car breaking down while you are driving is one of the most unnerving situations you may face. This is made especially difficult and risky if the road is wet or there are hazards on the road that can prevent you from stopping safely.
On a Highway
Many New Zealanders consider it safe to drive on expressways and motorways that they even ask for increased speed limits. However, these can be some of the most dangerous places when your car breaks down. Here’s what you should do:
- Park on the hard shoulder of the highway and turn the wheels of your car towards the grassy verge. Park with a considerable distance from moving traffic, as you would not want to cause any other untoward incident.
- Pull the parking brake and switch on your car’s hazard lights. Wear your reflective jacket or vest, if you have any, so that oncoming traffic will see you even from afar. Your triangular reflective early warning device may not offer much help because of the high speed of vehicles moving along the highway.
- Let out passengers using the door opposite the highway. Let them stay behind the crash barrier, if there are any, or tell them to move as far back as possible from the car.
- Counties Towing recommends calling your emergency breakdown provider, an Auckland towing company or the highway management office. Find emergency numbers posted on street lamp posts along the highway.
On Other Roads
Follow the same procedures if your car broke down while you were traversing a quiet, relatively low-speed road. The only difference is you can use your reflective early warning device at least 45 meters behind your stalled vehicle. This should give other motorists ample distance to slow down and avoid crashing into you.
Knowing what to do when you are on the road and your car breaks down can literally save lives. Stay calm all throughout the incident to arrive safely at your destination even with a stalled car.