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The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) recommends these precautions when your car breaks down: 

1) Don't get out of the car to repairs or examine damage on a busy highway. Make sure your vehicle is in a safe place before getting out. If you've been involved in an accident, motion the other driver to pull up to a safe spot ahead. 

2) If the vehicle is not moveable, it is safer to remain in the vehicle to wait for help or use a cell phone if you have one to summon help. Standing outside your vehicle in a heavy flow of traffic is a bad idea. 

3) Carry flares or triangles in your car for use to mark the car's location when you get to the side of the road. Marking your vehicle's location can be critical for other drivers. Also turn on your hazard lights! 

4) If you get a blowout or a flat tire, maneuver the vehicle to a safe place before attempting repair - even if you destroy the wheel getting there. The cost of a tire, rim or wheel is insignificant compared to endangering your life. 
Used with permission of www.iii.org
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Car Breakdown Safety

Dangers

Recommended Precautions

To break down on well-traveled roads can be extremely dangerous and each year motorists are injured or even killed trying to repair their cars or waiting for assistance. During a vehicle accident or when your car breaks down, safety should be your prime concern. The most dangerous action you can take is to get out of your car at a busy intersection or highway to exchange tires or check for damage.