What to do when your car breaks down in the middle of the highway?
My husband and I , along with my mother in law, nieces and daughter decided to balik kampung to my late father in law's kampung in Jeram, Kuala Selangor. It was a change since we have no kampung to go back during Raya as my mother in law lives very nearby to us- in fact , just a few steps away from our house.
The trip took us about an hour's drive. We manage to visit his cousin and his uncle and auntie there, one of his cousins cooked for us a great meal of beef rendang, sambal goreng Jawa, peanut sauce. After ber raya -ing (Oh My English!!) with them, my mother in law wanted to go visit other relatives, namely her brothers in Klang, so we drove to Klang but our mission had to be aborted when our trusty dear old car broke down in the Shapadu highway, just after Kapar. We couldn't get it to start at all.
We called the highway patrol who came to help us by jumpstarting the car.
Then we were on our way, but upon reaching the next toll in Bukit Raja, our car stalled again and this time we had to call the PLUS highway patrol again. It was a scary thing as we broke down righy in the middle of this highway. The highway patrol gave us another jump start and again we got moving but we already identified the root of our problem. The car's alternator was spoiled . And this time we did not get so far. The car decided to give up on us along the NKVE right at the side near the overhead bridge at Kota Damansara where the road was crazy busy with lorries, buses and tankers speeding along and shaking the whole ground up like a mini earthquake. Everyone in the car was terrified.
The highway patrol came again -different people and tried to give us a jumpstart but that only lasted a couple of minuted before the car died and so they had to reverse a good 300 metres to help tow us to the Kota Damansara toll plaza rest area.
We were so relieved when we go there.
So, what to do when your car breaks down in the middle of the highway?
At the first sign of car trouble, gently and smoothly take your foot off the accelerator. Do
not brake hard or suddenly. Carefully work your vehicle toward the breakdown lane or
the left side of the road. If you are on the highway, try to reach an exit. Signal your intentions
to drivers behind you. If it is necessary to change lanes, watch your mirrors and the traffic
around you closely.
Once off the road, make your car visible. Put reflectorized triangles/cones behind your vehicle
to alert other drivers; use your emergency flashers. It is a good idea to invest in some(note to self)
If it is dark, turn on the interior dome light. I did not have these, so hubby and I made do by opening our car bonnet and opening and putting a red umbrella there
When you have a flat tire, be certain that you can change it safely without being close to
traffic. If that is possible, change the tire as you normally would. Remember, safety must
take precedence over your schedule or whatever other concerns you may have.
However, when the car is beyond repair, it is best to get professional help. Do not try to
flag down other vehicles. Raise your hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or
hang it out a window so police officers or tow truck operators will know help is needed.
Don't stand behind or next to your vehicle. If the car is in the roadway, stand away from
the vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
If your car is safely out of traffic, wait inside the vehicle with the doors locked. Use your
cellular phone to call for help. If someone stops and offers to help, open the window
slightly and ask them to call the police.
Watch for a uniformed police officer or other emergency personnel. All highways and major roads are patrolled regularly. Also, some highways have special "call-for-help" phones.
If and when you call them, you have to be aware of your location which normally you can take note in the centre or the left side of the highway. Check the small numbers markings. These are supposedly the kilometer markings. This enables the highway patrol to find you faster. If not, give them an exact location or at least some landmarks. Under a bridge, near the toll, near the factory, etc..
|the markers look something like this. It is small and either at the left side or centre of the highway|
It is not a good idea to walk along the highway, especially during inclement weather. However,
if you can reach a source of help on foot, without jeopardizing your physical or personal
safety, try the direct approach by walking. Keep as far from traffic as possible and walk
on the right side of the roadway. Never attempt to cross a multi-lane, high speed roadway.