Whether you’re on a long road trip or just driving around town, here are a few simple tricks to help prepare you in case of a breakdown.
Before you hit the road, remember to carry your AAA Membership card. Program the AAA Emergency Road Service 800 number into your cell phone with your Membership number and expiration date so it’s always on hand.
If you’re stranded on a highway or roadway:
Safety first. Stay in your car as much as possible and use caution when interacting with those who offer assistance.
Get noticed. Alert passersby you need help by lifting your hood, turning on your hazard lights and/or using flares and reflective triangles.
Seek help. When someone does stop, ask them to contact local authorities and AAA. Look for nearby call boxes, but don’t roam too far to find one. Call box operators can reach AAA for you.
Know your area. Once you reach AAA or the local authorities, tell us as much about your surroundings as you can: where you came from, where you were headed and nearby landmarks or road signs.
Move to the right. If you break down in the left lane and are on the left shoulder, signal and begin moving to the right if it’s safe. Make slow and deliberate motions to alert other drivers.
Keep away from traffic. If you can’t move your vehicle off the road, exit the car when it’s safe and stand away from traffic. Don’t place yourself between traffic and your vehicle.
Get back on the road safely. If you’re able to drive again, accelerate along the side of the road, signal properly and reenter the road at approximately the same speed as other traffic.
If you’re driving out of cell phone range:
Send text messages. Even if you’re out of cell phone range, try sending a text message. Oftentimes texts will go through when cell coverage is spotty.
Let others know your route. Tell a friend or family member your planned route and the general time you should arrive. Have an agreed upon plan if they don’t hear from you.
Carry water. Keep a jug of water in your trunk. It’s one of the most important precautions you can take, especially in the heat of the summer.