Dealing with any kind of car problem is difficult. It’s even harder if your car breaks down when you’re in any area that’s far away from home. There are always a few steps you can follow, though, to ensure that you’re able to better deal with the situation even if you are in an unfamiliar area.

Get Your Car out of the Way

It’s always a good idea to start with some basic safety. If your car breaks down, do what you can to get it out of the road and to a safe place. If you don’t see a shop in sight, make sure to get your car into a brightly lit, public parking lot. If that’s not possible, get your car on the shoulder of the road and make sure to turn on your hazard lights.

Observe the Area

Your next step is to observe your area. Do you feel safe where you are? Is there any place where you can go inside to get help? If the answer to either of these questions is no, you should almost certainly stay in your vehicle until you can make a plan for what comes next. Sometimes a little bit of situational awareness can prevent a whole host of problems.

Use What You Have

What are your assets? If you have a phone, you will have everything that you need to call for help, to look up directions, or simply to get information. If you don’t, you’ll want to look for cash (in case you are going to be stuck long enough to need somewhere to stay), your identification, and even basic tools to help you. Knowing your assets can help you to comfortably plan for what to do next.

Call for Help

Finally, do what you can to call for help. If at all possible, look for a towing service that can get your car back to a shop. It’s also a good idea to call family and friends to let them know where you are. This is not only a good way to stay a little safer, but an excellent way to get someone to come pick you up once you have a tow service on the way to help you out.

Don’t panic if you get stuck somewhere unfamiliar. Make sure that you’re safe, that you have what you need to move, and that you can call for help. With a few simple steps, you can get your car fixed and back on the road.