A car breakdown can be stressful under any circumstances, but encountering vehicle problems in a remote area can be downright terrifying. We understand how stressful a breakdown in a deserted place can be, but hope this article provides you with the skills and knowledge you need to stay safe and get help in such a situation. Read on to learn more about what you can do if your car gives out in a remote area. 

What Makes Breakdowns in a Remote Area So Worrisome?

Breaking down in a remote area presents unique challenges that you wouldn’t encounter if your car gave out on a busy highway or city street. It may be challenging or impossible to get immediate help, you may be unable to communicate due to a weak cellphone signal, and environmental factors like poor weather can pose a risk to your safety. Being prepared for such a situation can keep you healthy and safe while you wait for assistance to arrive.

Immediate Safety Measures to Consider

The first thing to do after a breakdown is ensure that you and your vehicle’s passengers are safe. Before doing anything else, carefully evaluate your surroundings for danger. Potential hazards to be aware of include: 

  • Oncoming traffic
  • Dangerous wildlife activity
  • Environmental dangers such as loose rocks or steep inclines

If it’s safe to do so, pull your car as far off the road as possible. Turn on your hazard lights so other drivers will see your vehicle, even if there is little or no traffic in the area. Set up reflective triangles or flares (if you have them) to increase your car’s visibility, especially during low-light conditions.

If you can contact the outside world for help, do so right away before your phone runs out of battery. If you have cell phone service, try to connect with roadside assistance or emergency services, should anyone need immediate assistance. If you can reach a family member or friend, tell them your location and the situation you’re facing. Some newer vehicles have built-in emergency assistance features that can contact emergency services and get you assistance as well.

Can You Fix the Problem Yourself?

If you have some knowledge of common car issues and proper tools to work on a vehicle, attempt some basic troubleshooting. A flat tire can be addressed with a spare tire and jack. If your car’s battery is dead, you can use jumper cables and a second vehicle to coax it back to life. If the vehicle is overheating, pull over to the side of the road and turn off the engine. Allow it to cool completely before checking coolant levels to see if they’ve fallen too low. 

You should consider putting an emergency kit in your car, so you’re prepared to deal with an unexpected breakdown in an inhospitable area. Although everyone’s personal emergency kit will differ in what is included, you should include a first-aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food, jumper cables, a set of tools, and a flashlight. Having these supplies with you in a pinch can make a significant difference.

Staying Safe While Waiting for Help

As you wait for assistance to arrive, do your best to ensure your car is visible so another motorist doesn’t accidentally crash into it. You’ve already got enough on your hands without worrying about needing the services of an Atlanta car accident attorney. Keep your hazard lights flashing and deploy reflective triangles and flares if you have them in your car’s emergency kit. 

Be sure to stay hydrated and maintain a steady body temperature. Drink the water in your emergency kit and dress appropriately for the weather. If it’s hot, seek shade and avoid strenuous activity. If it’s cold, bundle up to conserve your body heat and remain inside the car if possible. 

Long-Term Survival Tips if Immediate Rescue is Impossible

If you do not expect help to arrive promptly, prepare to wait for assistance. You should ration water and food carefully, ensuring you have enough to survive until help comes. You may be able to conserve energy by turning the car off if you aren’t using electrical components. 

If you are unable to communicate with the outside world by telephone or radio, signal for help in any way that you can. Use mirrors to reflect sunlight, create a sign on the ground with branches or rocks, or make noise by using an emergency whistle. 

In most cases, you should not leave your car and seek help unless you have no other options. Especially if you are in a remote area, your chances of encountering someone are higher if you stay near your vehicle and the roadway. 

How to Avoid Common Car Problems

Although it might sound rather cliche, the best way to avoid dealing with the hassle of a car breakdown is to avoid the situation in the first place. Regular car maintenance can significantly reduce the risk of mechanical problems. Before taking a trip in a remote area, have your car checked by a mechanic and verify that all fluids are topped up. You should plan your route well in advance, keeping in mind the location of gas stations and the possibility of losing cell service. 

By preparing for your trip in advance and gaining some basic survival skills, you can transform a breakdown into an inconvenience instead of a life-threatening emergency. Be sure to stock up your emergency kit adequately, plan ahead, and hit the road with confidence!