What do you do if your car stalls on the highway? What is there to do when your car stalls in water? Do you stay in the car? Do you get out? Learn what the experts say and make a plan now – before you actually need to make this decision in real life.
What to do during the Day
You car breaks down in rush hour traffic on the freeway. What do you do?
- Get out of the way. When your car stalls on the highway, try to maneuver your vehicle to the far-right lane. Use your turn signal. If your car is slowing down to a crawl, turn on your hazard warning lights, the experts at Mobil 1 warn.
- Stay in the car. One of the most foolhardy things to do is the attempted crossing of a highway on foot. When you consider that cars travel between 55 and 85 miles an hour, it is clear that these vehicles cannot stop quickly enough if you misjudge the distance between the oncoming traffic and your presence in the lane.
- Keep the seatbelt on. Yes, it is entirely possible that you will get rear-ended. For this reason, it is wise to keep on your seatbelt. In fact, make sure that your passengers and pets also remain properly restrained.
- Transmission should be in neutral. If you do get rear-ended, keeping the car in neutral minimizes the amount of travel the vehicle does without giving you the teeth-rattling jolt that comes from the collision. Remember to keep your parking brake off.
- Do not try to fix the car. You might be an old hand at slinging that tire wrench, but you will stay safer if you do not attempt to change a tire on the side of the freeway. The same goes for any other car repairs.
- Call for help. You do have a membership to AAA, right? If not, get signed up before you hit the road. For those folks who have an automotive assistance club membership through a credit card, business or insurance company, it is a good idea to write down the phone number, hours of operation and also key in the number onto the speed dial setting. If all else fails, call the highway patrol.
What to Do after Dark
The steps pretty much remain the same after dark. That said, you should place at least one warning triangle behind your vehicle. Follow the rules of the road set forth by the Federal motor Carrier Safety Administration, which stipulate that one warning triangle is placed about 10 feet from your car “in the direction of approaching traffic.” Ideally, you should carry additional warning triangles that you can place at additional distances of 100 feet in both directions of traffic.
What to Do if Your Car Stalls in Water
It is easier than you think to get stuck in the middle of a flooded intersection. The water does not look all that deep and you figure that other cars made it through. Yet it is not unheard of for passenger cars to stall on flooded roads. If this happens to you, KFSM Channel 5 News warns that you should put the car immediately into reverse, and try to drive out of the flooded zone in this manner. Even if this maneuver does not get you all the way out, it at least lets you get away from the deepest water. Should this prove impossible, try to leave the car on foot. Since even one foot of water can move your car, it is imperative that you act quickly. If you cannot open the car door, roll down the windows and try to climb to the roof of the car. Signal rescuers, or call with your cell phone to alert first responders to your location.