What to do when your vehicle breaks down

How you fare when your vehicle fails is often a matter of how you respond. The decisions you make are important and can have positive or negative consequences. Fortunately, most problems are preventable.

Prevention and preparedness are key:

Get in the habit of conducting periodic safety checks to make sure your vehicle is in good operating condition.

A safety check includes tires, lights, belts, hoses, fluids, and windshield wipers.

Read your owner's manual to clearly understand which dash lights or signals indicate your vehicle is not operating properly and what to do in such situations.

Before a road trip, arrange for a free test of your vehicle's battery, starting, and charging system. This can help determine how much life is left in your battery and if any other components need repairs.

Register on AAA.com and download our app for quick easy Roadside Assistance in just a few clicks. Or, program your cell phone with emergency numbers, including AAA, and keep a backup written list in your glove compartment.

Always carry a well-stocked emergency kit and familiarize yourself with the use of safety flares, warning triangles and other emergency equipment.

If your vehicle does break down:

  • Pull off the road as far away from traffic as possible. Remain with your vehicle.
  • If you get out of your vehicle, watch carefully for traffic.
  • Never stand behind or directly in front of your vehicle.
  • If you CANNOT pull off the road switch on safety/emergency flashers. If you could get struck from behind, do not stay in the vehicle.
  • Make sure your car is visible to other motorists; turn on emergency flashers, raise the hood, tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or hold it in place with a closed window, place flares or warning triangles to direct cars around your vehicle.
  • If you smell fuel or see a fuel leak, do NOT light flare and extinguish any lit cigarette.
  • Communicate your situation. We're here 24/7/365 to provide fuel, change tires, jump your battery, and tow your vehicle if we can't get it running on the spot. If you feel you are in an unsafe situation make sure the dispatcher is aware of your concern.
  • With our app you can track your truck, identify the driver, and get updates on the truck's ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival).

To prevent your vehicle from breaking down, click here to learn more about AAA Auto Repair and Maintenance Solutions.



 The content of this article is for informational purposes only. AAA does not guarantee any particular outcome.