What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down on a Road Trip

Nothing is more frustrating during a road trip than a lifeless car. (Image:  pixabay  /  CC0 1.0)
Nothing is more frustrating during a road trip than a lifeless car. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Road trips are the perfect getaway from sprawling urban jungles, metropolitan cities, and our mundane lives. It’s a chance to see everything that lies in your path with vivid detail, which is indeed an unparalleled experience.

From those ever-changing sceneries to meals in cozy towns that you never knew existed, road trips can give you memories to cherish a lifetime. However, nothing is more frustrating during a road trip than a lifeless car!

Cars, after all, are machines and with them, there is the ever-present and imminent danger of experiencing trouble as you drive them on longer routes.

While it is necessary to ensure that your car is in proper working condition before you set off on your journey, things like a flat tire can come without any sort of warning whatsoever. So, it’s vital that you know exactly what to do to mitigate the risks involved in such scenarios and safeguard your life and property from any significant damage.

Here’s what you should do if your car refuses to move forward. It’s better that you follow these guidelines step by step to get the maximum possible benefits:

As soon as you sense something wrong with your car, turn your hazard lights on so that the approaching vehicles know that they have to avoid coming close. Other signals like opening your hood and placing markers behind your car can also come in very handy in this regard. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

As soon as you sense something wrong with your car, turn your hazard lights on so that the approaching vehicles know that they have to avoid coming close. Other signals like opening your hood and placing markers behind your car can also come in very handy in this regard. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Have your little oasis ready

This is what many people like to call a “breakdown kit.” These basically are the most critical sets of supplies that would assist you until help arrives, or you manage to fix the car yourself.

  • Flares and reflective vests
  • Basic tool kit with things like pliers and screwdrivers
  • Specialized tools like jumper cables or a puncture repair kit
  • Critical supplies, including extra food and water, first aid kits, and thermal blankets
  • Spare car liquids like brake fluid and coolant
  • A working and capable mobile phone with all necessary contact numbers

Steer clear

Unless there is a mechanical fault, your car won’t come to a screeching halt during a breakdown. It is imperative that you exercise necessary caution and steer your vehicle off the road, most likely toward the left side, so that you and your car are out of a vulnerable situation.

Speak with the oncoming traffic

As soon as you sense something wrong with your car, turn your hazard lights on so that the approaching vehicles know that they have to avoid coming close. Other signals like opening your hood and placing markers behind your car can also come in very handy in this regard.

Discern your location

With the growing availability of advanced GPS navigation systems, it’s easier to pin your location and send it over to anyone you wish to receive help from. If GPS is unavailable, note prominent visual cues like a mountain range or a nearby settlement, and communicate them to the helping party. This will surely help them respond to your call promptly.

Don’t try to fix big problems

Some breakdowns may involve dangerous mechanical failures, so if you feel that ‘something big’ has gone wrong with your car, seek professional assistance.

Some breakdowns may involve dangerous mechanical failures, so if you feel that ‘something big’ has gone wrong with your car, seek professional assistance. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Some breakdowns may involve dangerous mechanical failures, so if you feel that ‘something big’ has gone wrong with your car, seek professional assistance. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Get prior knowledge about professional towing services along your preferred route, or if possible, use technology like the one available for truckers through services like One20’s roadside assistance program. Technology is often the better alternative in such situations to make your experience less grueling. So make sure you are updated with the latest trends.

Breakdowns won’t be major buzzkills if you follow the right steps and know how to handle the problems that come your way. First timers might experience some discomfort, but don’t put off the idea of a road trip for fear of the unknown. Remember, in the unknown lie the things that every soul yearns for, i.e., mystique, adventure, fulfillment, and above everything else, knowing that I dared to go on a journey that few tread.

Written by Carla Adams, a passionate fashion, tech, and health blogger, and a featured contributor at various amazing sites. Check out her recently published articles below:

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