What to Do If Your Vehicle Fails While Driving


Experiencing a vehicle failure while driving can be daunting and potentially dangerous. Whether it’s a sudden engine breakdown, a flat tire, or a critical system malfunction, your steps immediately following such incidents can significantly impact your safety and resolve any resultant issues. This comprehensive guide, provided by Crown Law Group, PC, offers essential advice on what to do if your vehicle fails while driving in Los Angeles, including how consulting with a Los Angeles car accident attorney or truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles can help protect your legal rights.

Stay Calm and Maintain Control

The first and most important step is to stay calm. Panic can impair your ability to react appropriately. Focus on maintaining control of your vehicle as much as possible.

  • Reduce Speed Gradually: Avoid abrupt braking. Slow down gradually by lifting your foot off the accelerator.
  • Steer Your Vehicle to Safety: Signal and move to the safest spot available, preferably the shoulder of the road or a designated emergency lane.

Turn On Your Hazard Lights

Immediately activate your hazard lights. This warns other drivers that your vehicle is not functioning properly and that they need to proceed with caution.

Assess the Situation

Once safely stopped, try to determine the nature of the failure. Some issues might be minor and fixable on the spot (like a flat tire), while others may require professional assistance.

  • Check for Obvious Problems: This can include flat tires, engine smoke, or dashboard warning lights.
  • Avoid Repairs in Traffic: If the problem requires you to exit the vehicle for a closer look, ensure you are in a safe location away from traffic.

Call for Help

If the issue is beyond simple roadside fixes, it’s time to call for professional help.

  • Roadside Assistance: If you have a roadside assistance service, call it. They can provide towing, a jump start, or other necessary help.
  • Emergency Services: If you believe there’s a risk to your safety or that of other road users, calling 911 is appropriate.

Document the Incident

Documentation is crucial, especially if the vehicle failure leads to an accident or further complications.

  • Take Photos: Capture images of your vehicle’s position on the road, visible damage, and the surrounding area.
  • Note Details: Write down what happened leading up to and following the failure, including times, dates, and any actions you took.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Inform your insurance provider about the incident as soon as possible. They can begin processing claims related to the vehicle failure or resulting damages. After an accident, promptly notify your insurance company. This protects your rights and starts the claim process. Delaying can make it harder to get coverage, so call them as soon as possible. Remember, details are fresh in your mind, so document everything before you reach out.

  • Provide Details: Share all relevant information and documentation.
  • Follow Their Guidance: Your insurer may offer specific advice on towing services or repair shops.

Consult with a Legal Professional

After dealing with immediate safety and insurance reporting, consulting with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer or truck accident attorney in Los Angeles can be critical, especially if the incident resulted in an accident or a dispute about liability.

  • Legal Advice: A qualified attorney can provide legal advice on how to proceed, particularly if the failure may have resulted from manufacturer defects or improper vehicle maintenance.
  • Protect Your Rights: An attorney like those at Crown Law Group, PC can help protect your rights, particularly in complex situations where liability is disputed or if injuries occur.

Plan for Vehicle Repair and Follow-Up

Finally, arrange for your vehicle to be repaired. This might involve towing it to a mechanic or a dealership, depending on the nature of the failure.

  • Choose a Reliable Service Provider: Select a reputable mechanic or service center.
  • Keep Records: Maintain all receipts and records of repairs, as these might be necessary for insurance claims or legal purposes.


Vehicle failures while driving can pose serious risks, but by following these structured steps, you can manage the situation safely and effectively. Remember, in cases where vehicle failure leads to legal complications or accidents, securing experienced legal representation from a Los Angeles car accident attorney or truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles, such as those from Crown Law Group, PC, is advisable. They can assist in navigating the legal complexities that may arise, helping to secure any due compensation or resolving liability issues efficiently.


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