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What to do if your car breaks down or you have a blowout?

When we talk about your car, we like to remind you about the value of comparison auto insurance quotes, or how to select auto insurance coverage, you know the fun stuff. 🙂 But sometimes it’s just a bit more important when we discuss safety issues, like what to do when your car breaks down, you have blowout or directly after an auto accident.

Owning a car in the great state of California can take on many personalities ranging from joyful … when you’re driving down the coast with the top down, to practical … think morning commute.

But there is a much less popular personality, the one that comes out when your car breaks down.

A break down you can leave you feeling helpless, frustrated, and frankly pretty put-out. Don’t beat yourself up, though, you’re not alone. It’s happened to all of us, and one time or another.

What’s important is that you take the right steps to remedy the issues, and keep yourself safe.

If you’re vehicle breaks down at a busy intersection or on a high traffic highway, you need to take extra precaution. Getting out of the car at a busy intersection or on a highway to change a tire or check damage from a fender bender is probably one of the worst things you can do.

4 Things to consider when your car breaks down

The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) recommends the following precautions when your car breaks down:

  • Never get out of the vehicle to make a repair or examine the damage on a busy highway. Get the vehicle to a safe place before getting out. If you have been involved in an accident, motion the other driver to pull up to a safe spot ahead.
  • If you cannot drive the vehicle, it may be safer to stay in the vehicle and wait for help or use a cell phone to summon help. Standing outside the vehicle in the flow of traffic, under most circumstances, is a bad idea.
  • Carry flares or triangles to use to mark your location once you get to the side of the road. Marking your vehicle’s location to give other drivers advance warning of your location can be critical. Remember to put on your hazard lights!
  • In the case of a blowout or a flat tire, move the vehicle to a safer place before attempting a repair – even if it means destroying the wheel getting there. The cost of a tire, rim or wheel is minor compared to endangering your safety.


Basically, you need to carefully think about your exposure to hazards, those hazards that can harm you or those who you share the road with. Much of this is good common sense, but in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to let our the “break down” personality … it’s now when you need to keep your cool and work the problem.

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