How to Stay Safe if Your Vehicle Breaks Down in Winter
Having your car break down at any time is not ideal, however, a breakdown during the Canadian winter can be absolutely brutal because of the cold and the snow. When your car breaks down in the winter, you’ll want to make sure you stay safe while you’re waiting for help to come. Here are a few steps to take to make sure you’re safe when your car breaks down.
Move your car off the road
As long as your vehicle can still move (i.e., you have enough gas or the battery hasn’t died), you’ll want to first make sure you move your vehicle out of harm’s way so it isn’t interfering with traffic.
If you can’t move your vehicle to the right shoulder, try to make it to the left one or at least completely out of the way of traffic. Additionally, make sure to put your hazard lights on so that other vehicles can see you’re broken down and can veer safely away from you. It’s important to make sure you don’t try to push your vehicle to safety as you could get hurt.
Don’t stand outside your vehicle
Your vehicle will be much warmer than standing outside of it, so as much as possible stay inside your vehicle. Stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt on (just in case) and make sure you keep the hazard lights on. If you are on a very busy road or you’re worried your vehicle may be struck while you’re waiting for help, you can call 911 to get immediate assistance.
Only go outside your vehicle when needed
If your vehicle swerves into a snowbank during the winter, you will need to get out and make sure the tailpipe is not obstructed by the snowbank. If it is, this can cause carbon monoxide to back up and fill your vehicle – and that can have really bad consequences.
You may also want to get out of your vehicle to put out reflective cones or flares to make sure other vehicles see you – especially if it’s during a really bad storm.
Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle
Keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle can make a big difference while you’re waiting for help to come.
Your kit should include the following:
Keeping these items in your vehicle can be a lifesaver when you’re waiting on the side of the road with a broken-down vehicle.
By making sure your vehicle is safe and out of traffic, you’ll be able to stay safe and ensure no further damage is done to your vehicle. Stay inside your vehicle, where it’s safest and warmest for you to be until help arrives and they can remove your vehicle from the road. If you’ve been in an accident, you should call 911 – especially if someone is hurt – so emergency vehicles can get to you quicker.
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If you have questions about car insurance or would like to compare our rates with your current broker’s, contact us today to speak with a member of our team.