Car Broken Down on the Side of the Road?

Here’s What You Need to Do

Breaking down on the side of the road is uncommon these days. But it’s all the more stressful when you don’t know what to do next.

The best thing you can do is prepare ahead of time. Familiarise yourself with your roadside assistance and insurance policies. Figure out where and when you can call for a tow truck, and make sure you have the right phone numbers stored in your phone.

From there, all you have to do is stay calm and follow the instructions we’ve outlined below!

man on his phone whilst car is broken down on highway behind him

What to Do if Your Car is Broken Down on the Side of the Road

Breakdowns are rare, but they’re often incredibly stressful. If your car starts to sputter and die, the best thing you can do is stay calm and remain aware of the situation.

If you are broken down on the side of a suburban road, you should:

  • Pull onto a road shoulder, into the leftmost lane, or turn down a side street if possible.
  • Switch on your hazard lights.
  • Decide whether it’s safe to leave the car. If it’s safe, stand a good distance away from the car and make sure you are clearly visible to other drivers.
  • Contact a towing company, your insurer or roadside assistance for help.

If you are broken down on the side of a motorway, you should:

  • Pull as far to the left as possible – preferably into a breakdown lane or stopping zone.
  • Switch on your hazard lights.
  • Assess the situation and determine whether it’s safe to leave the car. Broken down vehicles can distract other drivers, so it’s often safer to stay inside the car if the road is busy.
  • If it’s safe, you can exit the vehicle via the passenger side and take shelter behind a road barrier.
  • Keep your phone with you. Queensland’s motorways are monitored by Linkt. They will try to call you and will send a tow truck to your location as soon as possible. You can contact Link on 13 33 31.

Getting stuck on the side of the motorway is one of the most dangerous positions you can be in. Contact Linkt or QLD Traffic once it’s safe to do so, and they’ll send a tow truck to help.

Breakdown towing is provided free of charge by Linkt. They will move your vehicle to a safe location off the motorway. You can then call a tow truck to take your car home or to your mechanic.


What to Do if You See a Car Broken Down on the Side of the Road

You aren’t always the one dealing with the breakdown. Sometimes, you’ll see other drivers who need help. It’s great that you want to help, but you need to make sure you’re doing it safely.

Learn to identify the signs of another driver in distress. Things like a popped bonnet, hazard lights or cars that are parked in unusual spots can all be a sign of a breakdown.

If you see a car broken down on the side of the road, you should:

  • Put your own safety first. Don’t stop on roads that are poorly lit or in busy areas where you could create a hazard for other road users.
  • Continue driving if the car is broken down on a motorway. Stopping to help could create a bigger hazard and put more lives at risk.
  • If you aren’t on a motorway, assess the road and decide whether it’s safe to stop. It’s usually better to turn down a side street and return to the broken down vehicle to see if they need help.
  • Contact QLD Traffic on 13 19 10 to report the accident when it’s safe to do so.

Stopping to help a driver that’s broken down is usually more dangerous than simply reporting the accident to QLD Traffic.



Get Home Safely with Accident and Breakdown Towing from Harvey’s Towing!

Dealing with a vehicle breakdown is never fun. The good news is that Harvey’s Towing is available all over South East Queensland, and we can take the stress out of the situation.

Harvey’s Towing Service has more than 40 years of experience in accident and breakdown towing. Our operators take pride in offering compassionate service that’s designed to make your life easier. Whether you’re stuck in backstreet or broken down on the side of the highway, our tow trucks are ready to help.

Our team is equipped to move all types of cars, motorbikes, 4WDs, commercial vehicles and trucks, so we can get you out of any situation. You can contact us online to make a booking, or call us directly if you need 24/7 breakdown towing!