Every driver’s worst nightmare is to be happily cruising around town or on the morning commute to work only to have your beloved vehicle break down right in the middle of traffic.
Though this situation is not common, it is one you would most definitely not want to find yourself in, especially if you are clueless as to what to do. For that exact reason, we have prepared a comprehensive guide to prepare you just in case. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.
(Related story: What To Do If You Get Into A Road Accident)
First and foremost, breathe. Keeping a level head will help you to stay safe, while panicking will only hinder your ability to think clearly and handle the situation. Letting your nerves get to you could also endanger you and other drivers around you. Instead, relax and try to focus on the task at hand.
Move your vehicle to the side of the road
Keep yourself and your fellow drivers on the road safe by moving your vehicle to the side of the road where it will not cause any obstructions. Then, turn on your hazard lights so other drivers are aware of the situation. If your car breaks down on the highway, move your car to the leftmost lane.
If your car breaks down right in the middle of the road and you find it difficult to move it to the sides, put up your breakdown triangle about 20 metres or more behind your vehicle. You can also leave a bucket or pail if you do not have one, or leave your boot open to signal that your car has broken down. Get all passengers out of the car and make sure that everyone keeps a distance between the car and oncoming traffic.
Quickly check for the issue
Quickly check your car’s dashboard for any warning lights that will indicate problems with your car. Before you make the call for a towing service, make sure that the issue is not one that you cannot fix yourself. Sometimes, the problem is one that you can easily fix yourself without any additional tools.
For example, if you have a minor issue like a flat tire, a dead car battery, or lack of fuel, you can easily fix it yourself.
Call for assistance
If you cannot fix the problem yourself, it is time to call a professional for help. Call for a towing service or roadside assistance if you find that you are unable to fix the issue. You can call the Automobile Association of Singapore’s roadside assistance hotline at 6748 9911 if you are a member. If you are on an expressway, you can call the Expressway Monitoring and Advisory System (EMAS) at 1800-2255-582 instead.
Calling your workshop is also a good idea as they can also send a tow truck to assist you, in addition to being able to more accurately determine the root issue of your car.
Sit tight and wait
After that, it is a matter of the waiting game. Fret not though, if your car breaks down on an expressway, it is possible that help is already on its way through the Intelligent Transport Systems Centre which detects incidents on the road through its many cameras placed strategically along each expressway. Once an incident is detected, a vehicle recovery crew and a tow truck will be sent to your location.
LTA traffic marshals may also be dispatched to your location to assist in removing obstructions and handling the drivers.
Keeping safe on the road
We hope this article has helped you to be more prepared for the hypothetical case that your car breaks down on the road. However, keeping up to date with regular car maintenance and checks is key to preventing cases like this happening. After all, prevention is always better than cure.
(Related story: The Complete Guide To Caring For Your Car)