What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down in the Middle of the Road

Vehicles are now smarter and more autonomous than ever before. They’re also loaded with tech-savvy safety features designed to keep us protected. Still, breakdowns are at a record high.

No one enjoys being stranded on the side of the road, but it’s important to know what to do if it happens. More than 30 million drivers are stranded yearly with batteries, flat tires, and key problems. While it’s not a pleasant thought, knowing what to do can help make the situation less stressful.

Here’s what to do when your car breaks down in the middle of the road:

1. Get Off The Road

Move your car off the road to a safe location if you can. This is primarily for safety reasons, as you want to avoid being a target for distracted drivers going 65 miles per hour who can’t stop immediately.

If your car is still running, quickly and safely pull over onto the shoulder of the highway. Turn on your signal light before you do so, and make sure all lanes are clear. If you need to pull over onto the left shoulder, put as much distance between your car and moving traffic as possible. 

If your car completely breaks down and you can’t move it, turn on your hazard lights immediately. If you feel your safety is at risk if you stay in the car, look for a place to exit and only leave your vehicle when you feel it is safe.

2. Find Your Location

When you require a towing company, accident recovery service, or roadside assistance, you will need to be able to explain your current location.

If you’re feeling lost, take a deep breath and scan your surroundings for major landmarks or exits. Your phone may also be able to help you out by providing GPS data.

If you can’t see any signs, try to remember the last exit you took or how far away you were from your final destination. Even the smallest detail can help others find you faster.

3. Make Your Car Visible

After your car has broken down, the next thing to do is to alert other people on the road. This is important whether in a breakdown lane or the middle of the road. Turn on your flashers so that people can see you, even if it is during the day. Then, open your hood.

If you have a brightly colored piece of clothing like a scarf or jacket, tie it to your door handle or antenna to signal other drivers that you’re having car trouble. A white towel also works. Close it in your window to make it more visible.

4. Call For Help

If you’re in an accident, you should call 911. The operator will be able to help you and make sure everyone in your vehicle is safe. Then, you should call a friend or family member and let them know what’s going on.

Your next call should be to a roadside assistance company or towing service. If you are a motor club member, have your membership number ready.


If your car breaks down in the middle of the road, the immediate thing to do is move out of the way and make yourself visible. Call a tow truck and have it towed to a nearby mechanical garage. Once there, the mechanic can diagnose the problem and fix it. Be careful not to put yourself in danger.

Tow Atlanta was voted Atlanta’s Best Towing Service for 2017, 2018, and again in 2019. We’re also ranked by the American Insurance Association in the top one percent of all towing companies operating in the United States. All our tow operators and technicians are manufacturer-trained by the major automotive makers; some are nationally certified tow operators with the Tow Recovery Association of America (TRAA). If your car ever breaks down in the middle of the road and needs towing service in Atlanta, GA, we can help! Call our 24/7 hotline at 404-901-1976!

Tow Atlanta was voted Atlanta’s Best Towing Service for 2017, 2018, and again for 2019. We’re ranked by the American Insurance Association in the top 1% of all towing companies operating in the United States,

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All of Metro Atlanta & beyond

Contact Us

3379 Peachtree St NE, Suite 555,
GA - 30326
United States.

Phone : 404-901-1976
Fax : 404-479-6157


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