While it is probably true that both men and women encounter breakdowns equally, it is observed that men tend to react better or quicker to a breakdown than the ladies. There’s nothing more scary or troubling than a breakdown, especially if it’s on a busy road. What usually happens is a car stalls, and the first thing you do is call someone! For me, I know the time my car broke down on the Federal Highway, the first impulse was to call my husband! Then I thought through it calmly, and having already researched this article, I did the steps in a calm and orderly fashion. So don’t fret when you do have a car breakdown!
Here are some do-s and don’ts for both men and women in case of an emergency.
#1 Don’t leave the car in the middle of the road!
If you have an emergency, ie your tyre is flat or somehow your engine has failed, the moment you notice these things, turn on your hazard lights and slowly ease your way to the emergency lane. By no means should you pull to a dead stop in the middle of the road to get out to check. Not only is it extremely dangerous, it is also inconvenient to other drivers. If your engine has truly stalled whilst driving, you can still put your car to neutral and sort of coast to the side if you can.
#2 Urban Legend: Tow Truck Scam
A friend of mine actually experienced this. He was travelling rather late at night. The road wasn’t busy, it was dark and yes, he was going quite fast. But somehow on a sharp bend in the road, he skidded on what he claims was black oil, lost control and crashed into the barrier. Within moments, and he claims it really was within minutes, a tow truck appeared and offered assistance, at a fee, of course.
Now, even if this was a scam, or it remains an urban legend, there are some things you should know regarding tow truck services that are already at your disposal in case of an emergency. You should firstly, call your insurance company’s hotline number. A lot of insurance providers have the option of emergency tow services. Use them instead as they are far more reliable and in most cases, covered by your insurance payments. Don’t feel pressured by the tow truck guys who may be waiting for you. If you’re a lady, best to go with the official tow truck operators. Safety first!
#3 Do 1,2,3
Before you can call or do anything, follow this simple 1,2,3 step.
Put your hazard lights on, and move to the road shoulder
If possible, put the warning/hazard triangle on the road behind your car to alert oncoming cars.
The triangle needs to be at least 3 car-spaces away to be safe enough a distance for oncoming traffic to avoid your stalled vehicle.
Get out of the car safely and wait behind the road barrier or far enough from your car.
But use common sense. If it’s late at night, dark and you’re a lady alone, best stay in your car!
#4 Have those emergency numbers ready
All major highways have their own emergency numbers. It’s best to save the numbers of the highways you frequent into your phone so you have it ready at anytime.
You can refer to http://www.mycen.com.my/malaysia/emergency_numbers_for_highways.html for the complete list, but here are some handy ones:
NKVE – New Klang Valley Expressway
Tel: 1800 88 0000
Plusline NPE – New Pantai Expressway
Tel: 1 300 88 1010
Infoline PLUS – Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan
Tel: 1800 88 0000
Plusline SPRINT – Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat by LITRAK Kerinchi Link, Damansara Link and Penchala Link
Tel: 03 7494 7333.Helpline
AKLEH – Ampang KL Elevated Highway
Tel: 1 300 88 1012 Hotline
DUKE – Duta–Ulu Klang Expressway-
Tel: 03 6252 6261 Customer Service Centre