How to Safely Push a Broken-Down Car

If your car breaks down in the middle of the road, it's often better to stay inside and wait for help instead of pushing it aside. However, it is sometimes necessary for the car to be moved. For example, you might be on a one-lane road and be completely blocking other traffic. If the car needs to be moved before a towing service can arrive, make sure you follow these tips.

Enlist Help

One thing that you should never do is try to move a car alone. At the very least, you'll need two people; one should push while the other sits in the driver's seat to control the vehicle.

If you're alone, but you absolutely need to move the vehicle, wait until another car approaches, flag them down, then ask for help. If possible two or three people pushing will always be better than one. Turning your hazards on is always advantageous, since it will alert other road users to a problem from afar. Just make sure that the person who sits in the driver's seat to control the steering and brakes actually has a driver's license.

Push It Right

One of the potential pitfalls of moving a car with nothing more than human-power is the possibility of harming yourself while doing so. This is often down to using the wrong technique, although people who suffer from back or leg problems should sit the task out altogether.

If you need to push the vehicle, make sure you use your legs instead of your arms. Lean into the vehicle with your shoulder, then place the opposite hand on the car next to that shoulder. Keep your upper body and core tight, then begin slowly driving down with your legs. Take small steps, making sure you move in concert with anyone else helping you.

Go Slow and Steady

You should now have someone behind the wheel and someone pushing, and you should understand the correct technique, but make sure you don't get overconfident. Pushing too hard can be a recipe for disaster, since the steering system and brakes won't be as responsive when the engine is off. Remember, these are power-assisted systems. Building up too much speed could make the vehicle hard to control. If the person at the wheel needs to slam on the brakes, it could injure the person or people providing pushing-power.

Finally, make sure you don't push the car uphill. If you can't stop it rolling backwards, it could roll right back over you. For more information, contact a towing company in your area.