July 13th, 2010 by Penny Hagerman
As temperatures soar, our cars become vulnerable to the heat, just like we do.
Idling too long at a stoplight, driving slowly through a neighborhood or forgetting to check the water in the radiator can cause overheating, leaving drivers stranded in the middle of the road.
Add to that debris that blows out tires, neglected maintenance that causes other types of breakdown and impatient drivers, and you’ve got disaster waiting to happen!
So how should you react on that fateful summer day when your car breaks down on your way to work? And how can you avoid having an accident with another car when yours breaks down, resulting in even more damage and high car insurance rates?
In a situation like this, your first concern should be for your own safety, says the Insurance Information Institute (III). Many drivers mistakenly think they can pull off on the shoulder of the road and safely inspect the damage or change a flat tire.
But that’s just not so.
In fact, getting out of the car is one of the worst things you can do. Whether on the highway or at a busy intersection, doing so puts you in harm’s way and could actually get you killed!
Instead, move your vehicle (coast it in neutral, if you have to) to a safe place away from traffic—even if it ruins a tire or rim—and turn on your hazard lights. Then use your cell phone to call for assistance and wait in your car until help arrives.
In the heat, most of us have very little patience behind the wheel. We’re often in a hurry to get where we’re going, and we don’t want to sit and wait patiently in traffic. This can lead to anything from a minor fender-bender to a full-fledged breakdown.
Remember, staying safe is the most important thing. So next time you find yourself stranded on the road in 100 degree heat, try to move your car away from other vehicles, signal your distress to cars around you and wait for help.
You’ll help avoid further accident, damage and high car insurance rates; have an opportunity to get your vehicle repaired—and maybe just save your own life!