All cars are susceptible to break downs, so it’s important to be prepared. From staying calm to ensuring proper roadside assistance, there are steps you can take to ensure you stay safe and don’t damage your car further. Consult the list below for a step-by-step guide to handling a broken down vehicle.

What to Do If Your Vehicle Breaks Down

1. Switch on Your Hazards

If you feel your vehicle start to sputter or slow, turn on your hazard lights right away. This indicates to other drivers that you’re slowing down and are possibly having car trouble. Keep your four-way lights flashing until help arrives.

2. Pull Over

Once you’ve flicked your hazards on, look for an open shoulder, and steer your vehicle as far away from travel lanes as possible. Make sure you have an idea of your location or exit number so you can tell a tow truck where to find you. 

3. Apply Your Emergency Brake

Turn your wheel away from the roadside and pull up the emergency brake. This will ensure your car remains stagnant and can’t roll away if it’s stuck on a hill or should the vehicle accidentally be put into neutral gear.

4. Make Yourself Visible

It’s important to call roadside assistanceattention to yourself and your car. Having your hazard lights flashing is a smart first step, but you can take additional precautions like wearing a reflective vest, holding a flashlight, or setting up reflective triangles. Place the triangles approximately 100 to 200 feet behind your vehicle. You can also pop your hood, as this is a clear sign of a breakdown. 

5. Call for Help

Whether you have a roadside assistance provider or know of a nearby towing company, call for help as soon as possible. Do not try to fix the vehicle yourself, as you could cause further damage and even put yourself in danger. Calling for roadside assistance is the safest, most efficient next step.


If you’re in need of roadside assistance, call the experts at Alliance Collision. Serving the residents of Rochester, NY, for over 70 years, this auto towing company provides around-the-clock towing services and high-quality customer service. They also offer assistance with car lockout, flat tires, and emergency auto repair. Give them a call today at (585) 232-2390 to request assistance or visit them online to learn more about their offerings.