It is frustrating when your car breaks down but it can also be frightening, especially if you break down at night. It can also be dangerous as other drivers are passing you at high rates of speed. Knowing what you should do when your car breaks down can prevent injury and save your life. Below are helpful tips for how you can handle a vehicle breakdown at night.

What Should I Do If My Car Breaks Down at Night?

  • Move as far off the road as possible. If you begin to experience car trouble, immediately move as far off the road as safely possible. Disabled vehicles create a danger for other drivers. Avoid the possibility of an accident by getting your entirely off the road if possible.
  • Activate your hazard lights. Immediate activate your hazard lights to let other drivers know you are in trouble. Most drivers slow down as soon as they see hazard lights. This can prevent a serious car accident as you are trying to move off the road and secure your vehicle.
  • Note your location – If you are not familiar with the area, try to look for landmarks, signs, and mile makers so that you can tell those you call for help exactly where you are located. The GPS in your car and/or your cell phone can help you locate your exact location.
  • Call for help. As soon as you are safely off the road, call for help. If you feel unsafe, call 911. You are not wrong to call for police assistance if you feel you are not safe on the side of the road.
  • Exit the vehicle from the passenger side. If you exit your vehicle, do so from the passenger side if possible. Even though traffic may not be heavy, the possibility of an accident when exiting from the driver’s side is higher than if you can exit on the passenger’s side. After you exit, set road flares to warn other drivers to slow down and avoid your vehicle.
  • Never stand in front of or behind your vehicle. Someone stopping to help you may not see you standing outside of your vehicle. In most cases, it is safer to wait inside your vehicle with the doors locked.
  • Use caution if someone stops to help. Unfortunately, we live in a time when we cannot always trust a Good Samaritan who stops to help. Use your judgment and trust your instincts. If something seems “off,” do not unlock your doors or get out of your vehicle. If someone pulls up in an unmarked car claiming to be law enforcement, you have the right to ask for identification. If you still feel uneasy, call 911 and ask for confirmation.

For more information, read AAA’s pamphlet, “What to Do When Your Vehicle Breaks Down.

Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?

If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident, we can help. Call the Fresno, CA car accident attorneys at Torem & Associates at 1-800-954-4444 for a free case evaluation. We do not charge you to give you legal advice on what you need to do to protect your right to compensation after a car accident.