The majority of car breakdowns can be avoided if owners make sure to maintain their cars and have an understanding of what is likely to go wrong.
The main causes of car failure are:
- Flat or faulty battery
- Flat/damaged tyres
- Alternator faults
- Starter motor
- Clutch cables
- Spark plugs
To avoid the above mentioned, do regular maintenance checks on your vehicle. Before leaving your home to go anywhere, do an all-round car inspection, checking the water, oil and tyre pressure of the car. You might be able to spot a problem before you move off to your destination. But as life happens, some things are simply unavoidable. Here’s what to do if you ever get stuck on the side of the freeway, without any roadside assistance.
Get the vehicle off the road
Avoid being an obstruction to other road users. Try to coast along the shoulder of the road until you are away from curved roads behind you. When you are ready to move off again, you will be able to spot oncoming traffic before they are on your tail. Once you have reached the side of the road, put on your hazards to show other drivers that you’re in trouble. It would also be best to call for roadside assistance, whether it is your insurance company or the police. Tread with caution when on a busy freeway.
When the car dies in the middle of the road
If your car fails to start in the middle of traffic, it’s best that you stay put! You may feel unnerved sitting in a dead car, as cars pass you by, but attempting to exit the car in the middle of the freeway is a ticket to a suicide attempt. If it’s after dark, put the interior light on so that you’re more visible to other road users. You can also make other drivers aware of your difficulty to move by hanging a white cloth or piece of paper from the driver’s side window. This will caution other drivers and they will proceed to drive around you.
Be cautious of strangers trying to help
There may be a couple of good Samaritans out there willing to lend a helpful hand to those in need. But many good Samaritans have been found to be wolf in sheep’s clothing. If a stranger pulls over and offers help, remain in the car with the doors locked. Roll down the window a bit and tell them that help is on the way. It’s better to be safe than sorry. There are a good couple of patrol cars on the road, and it won’t be long before the authorities pull up, especially at night.