BOISE – With winter and holiday travel just around the corner, many Americans are planning a year-end road trip.  But despite your best efforts at routine maintenance, there may be times when your vehicle breaks down.

Here are some tips from AAA if you experience car trouble:

  • Slowly steer to the side of the road, out of traffic
  • Alert other motorists with emergency flashers, flares or reflectors
  • Don’t panic – thinking clearly will help you make better decisions
  • Stay in your car if it’s safe to do so.  Use good judgment based on vehicle position, weather, visibility, and the chances of getting help on foot
  • Note your location (mile marker, major landmarks, and other signage) and call for help or ask a passerby to do so
  • Use emergency kit items, such as food, water, and blankets, as needed

“If you decide to go get help, whether it’s with a kind stranger or on your own, leave a note with your name, time, phone number and the direction you traveled.  If you’re leaving with a Good Samaritan, write down their name and license plate as well,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “If you stay with your vehicle and need to run the engine, only do so periodically to conserve fuel, and make sure the tailpipe is clear of any snow or other debris that could create an issue with carbon monoxide.”