What to do if your car has stalled

For most that have emergency assistance, the solution if your car stalls or if you have a flat tire is a phone call away. For others, it can be an unnerving and stressful experience.

  • If your car breaks down on the roadway, immediately use your turn signal and pull to the right, completely out of the traffic lane. If there is a call box, use it, then stay in your car with the doors locked.
  • If you stall in a lane of traffic, turn on your hazard lights and stay in the car. Never try to cross the freeway on foot.
  • If you have a cellular phone, call 911 and tell the 911 operator your location. Cellular 911 calls are routed to a central dispatch center and operators cannot determine your location.
  • Always keep an eye on approaching traffic after you've stopped.
  • Always wear your seatbelt when waiting in your car for help.
  • Be careful where you place a lighted flare. They can ignite anything flammable, including dry brush or weeds beside the road.
  • Even if you are using emergency warning devices, do not try to fix your car. It is dangerous to work under the hood, under your car or even next to your car in or near fast moving traffic.

If you encounter another vehicle that has stalled, call 911 to report that vehicle (if you have a cellular phone). If you are driving on the roads, be aware of your surroundings not just the car in front of you. Watch for brake or hazard lights and help alert other drivers by tapping your brakes and slowing down. If you see a patrol car weaving back and forth across lanes of traffic with lights on, do not try to pass, it is slowing traffic because of a problem ahead.

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