How to Signal That Your Car Has Broken Down
- Show your distress. First, put on your hazards. If you have emergency reflective triangles and can place them safely, set them 25 feet behind the car. Or hang a cloth on the antenna or the side-view mirror.
- Get everyone out. If it’s safe to exit the car, go behind a guardrail. But if you’re in a narrow lane with traffic whizzing by, stay in the car and keep your seat belt fastened.
- Wait for help. Some highways have motorist-aid call boxes; others have service-patrol vehicles. If you’re a member of AAA, call 800-222-4357. And be cautious about accepting help from passersby. “Worry about personal safety―you don’t know who will stop,” says Paul Ponzio Jr., president of the CVS Samaritan program, which provides free emergency road service in nine states.