What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down on a Georgia Highway
It’s important to take steps to minimize the risks of a breakdown. Prepare your car for driving by taking the following precautions:
- Carry out periodic safety checks on your car or truck to ensure it is in good operating condition. Check brakes, tires, lights, fluids, belts, hoses, and your wipers.
- Get your car checked regularly by a mechanic, especially if you suspect there are problems;
- Change the oil every 6,000 miles or so;
- Always check out illuminated warning lights as they can point to mechanical problems.
Steps to Take if Your Car Breaks Down on a Georgia Highway
If your car breaks down on the highway, you should do the following.
- Turn on your hazard lights. Your hazard lights will alert other drivers to the fact that something’s wrong. Keep your hazards on until the car has been safely towed.
- Get to a safe place. If you can still drive your car a short distance, or it can be safely pushed try to get it into a safer place off the highway. Keep the hazard lights on as it’s moved. Aim for the shoulder of the road or, better still, a location off the road. If you’re driving on residential streets, look for a free parking spot or a parking lot if one is close by.
- Put a warning triangle on the road and use flares if you have them.
- Turn your wheel away from the highway and apply the emergency brake. This will prevent your car from rolling if you’re stuck on any kind of hill.
- Be careful getting out of your car. Check at least three times that no cars are approaching before getting out of your car. People often panic after a breakdown and fail to look out for other vehicles. In some cases, it can be safer to stay in a car. If you made it to the right-hand side of the road, exit via the passenger-side door. If you smell smoke, exit the car as soon as possible.
- Call for help: If you have a roadside assistance provider, call them. Many people have roadside assistance as part of their insurance policy. If you don’t and are in metro Atlanta, dial 511 from any phone and select option “1” to request HERO motorist assistance. The Georgia DOT Transportation Management Center (TMC) dispatches HEROs to traffic-related incidents.
- Call for a tow truck or call 911 if you need further assistance. Be careful about changing a tire by the roadside. Many people in Georgia have been badly injured and killed changing tires.
- Pop your hood: A raised hood is a clear sign to other drivers that you have broken down. Other drivers will give you space. They may even stop to help.
- If you are involved in an auto accident in Georgia be sure to call the emergency services.
It’s important not to freeze or panic if your car breaks down on a Georgia highway. If you are hit and hurt by a careless driver, call our Georgia car accident injury lawyers as soon as possible at (404) 913-1529.