What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down on a Road Trip

Road trips can be a lot of fun and a great way to make memories with your family and friends. They can also take a toll on your car, and you can run the risk of your car breaking down. It’s unfortunate, but it can happen. You need to be prepared. This car breakdown guide is perfect to go through before you head out on your road trip. 

We will be discussing some of the steps that need to be taken when your car breaks down. You need to follow these steps in chronological order so that you will have a painless and easy time with your car. The goal is to help you get back to having fun and making memories with your family and friends. 

It might be beneficial to print out this guide and take it with you on your road trip. In the midst of a crisis, it can be difficult to remember what to do. This guide will be a lifesaving tool that can help you in your time of need.

Step #1 – Pull Over and Stay Calm

You feel your car starting to die and it is losing momentum. Don’t panic. Calmly make your way to the side of the road before the car comes to a complete stop. Don’t press hard on the brakes. Just let the car lose speed on its own. You run the risk of doing more damage to your car if you ride the brakes, and you can easily lose control that way. 

Make sure you also turn your hazard lights on so that oncoming cars know that you are in the process of pulling over. You don’t want to cause an accident and end up hurting yourself or other drivers. You should put on your hazards as soon as you feel that something is wrong with your car.

(Side Note: Did you know it’s often more dangerous to get out of the car than to stay in it when your car breaks down?)

Step #2 – Have Your Car Towed

Call a tow truck to come get you once you’ve come to a full and complete stop on the side of the road. Most insurance companies have a coverage they offer that covers towing. Check with your insurance company and your policy to see if you have that add-on. 

Because we’re still in a pandemic, make sure that you are taking safety precautions so that you don’t catch COVID-19 while traveling with the tow truck driver. Wear a mask and sanitize your hands. Not doing so could put you and the driver at risk. 

Of course, you should always take measures to protect yourself from COVID-19 when traveling to make sure your road trip stays safe.

Step #3 – Wait For Your Car to Be Repaired

Depending on the time of day that your car broke down, the shop may not be open. If the auto shop is closed, the best option is to find a place to stay for the night and wait for it to open. Once you’re there, all you need to do is let the mechanic know what happened and let them do their job. 

There could be many reasons why a car would break down. One of the most common causes of cars breaking is the car battery. Check with your insurance to determine whether battery replacement is covered by your policy. It probably isn’t, but it’s always good to check. 

Diagnosing the problem and fixing your car can take some time. While you wait, you should let your loved ones know that you’re okay, especially if you traveled alone. Traveling alone can be a daunting adventure, but totally worth it even if your car breaks down.

Step #4 – Call Your Loved Ones

This might not seem like a very important step to some, but it would mean a lot to your loved ones if you let them know you’re okay, especially if you traveled by yourself. You don’t have to give them all the details if you don’t want to, but at least let them know that your car broke down while you were on your road trip. 

Your loved ones will greatly appreciate your mindfulness and thoughtfulness. It can be scary, especially for parents, to have their children go on road trips by themselves. It would bring them a lot of comfort to know that you’re safe. It may be cumbersome, but it’s important nonetheless. 

(Side Note: It might be a good idea to keep them in the loop about what’s going on with your car. If it is beyond fixing at the shop, then it would be good for them to know so that they can potentially come get you.)

Step #5 – Get Back to Having Fun

Whether you have a set destination in mind or not, there are a lot of places to visit. This country has a lot of amazing sights to see and explore. Just remember to take care of your car and take the proper precautions to ensure that you stay healthy. In these unprecedented times, it’s so crucial to be cautious. It can save your life and the lives of those around you.

If your car breaks down again, you now have a blueprint for what to do. Having your car break down in the middle of a road trip can be discouraging and scary, but if you’re able, you should keep enjoying your trip as much as possible. Enjoy having fun and making memories with your family and friends.

Life is too short to not move forward and continue your road trip. If you decide not to continue your road trip, that’s okay too. But take some risks and explore if you can. Soak up the sunshine and blue skies. Drive responsibly and diligently, but always remember to have fun and don’t take life too seriously.

About the Author

Peyton Leonard writes and researches for the insurance site, USInsuranceAgents.com. Peyton is passionate about travel and driver’s safety. She has gone on many road trips in her lifetime.

Peyton Leonard

Peyton Leonard