Few driving situations are as stressful as a highway breakdown. Pulling over into the soft shoulder often means contending with fast and sometimes aggressive drivers. Even worse, many motorists may barely pay attention to their surroundings, making it even more dangerous to remain close to high-speed traffic.

Of course, a highway breakdown at night can be even more nerve-wracking. Knowing what to do in these situations and how to arrange for a tow can help calm your nerves and keep you safe. Follow these three tips to keep yourself as safe as possible the next time you need to have your car towed from a dark highway.

1. Don't Try to Push It 

Many automotive emergencies begin with clear warning signs. For example, you might hear a loud thumping before your tire fails or notice your temperature gauge climbing before your car overheats. Understandably, drivers will often notice these warning signs and attempt to push their car a few more miles to a safer or more convenient location.

Unfortunately, trying to fight through these problems can lead to more damage or create a catastrophic failure in an even more dangerous location. If something seems seriously wrong with your car, the best option is to pull over immediately and get as far off the road as possible. Use those extra moments your car gives you to find a safe and visible location to pull off the road.

2. Lights On, Engine Off

If you are ever in doubt about what to do after pulling your car off the road at night, remember these four words: lights on, engine off. Continuing to run your engine in an emergency can have numerous potential downsides, including causing more damage or even creating the possibility of a dangerous situation, such as a fire.

On the other hand, visibility is critical when pulling off the road at night, especially on high-speed roads such as highways. Turn your engine off, but leave as many lights on as possible. Your headlights, hazard lights, and parking lights should all be on. These lights will make it easier for your tow truck driver to find you and much easier for other motorists to spot and avoid your car.

3. Call the Police If Necessary

When you break down on the highway, your first call should usually be to a 24-hour towing service to arrange to get your car off the road as quickly as possible. However, always try to evaluate the safety of your situation. Are you completely clear of traffic? Can you pull far enough off the road that you aren't presenting a hazard to other drivers?

When stuck in a dangerous situation, don't hesitate to call the police for assistance. You can use the non-emergency number if there isn't imminent danger. Making this call can be important even if you've already called for a tow truck since the police may want to send a car to help direct traffic or place warning devices nearby to alert other drivers while you wait for your tow to arrive.

To find out more, speak to a service provider, or visit a site like http://www.cctow.com/