Having your car break down is never fun. In some cases, it can be dangerous if it happens on a fast highway. Luckily, there are a few tips to stay safe if you ever experience trouble on Montana highways.

Jay Nelson with Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) says the best thing to do if your car breaks down on a highway is to pull off to the shoulder of the road. Doing this lowers the chances of vehicle crashes. Put on your hazard lights to let MHP troopers and first responders know something is wrong. It is also a good idea to put your hood up unless it is snowing. You can also call MHP’s non-emergency number at 1-855-647-3777, so a trooper can respond and help. 

While the weather and roads are warmer than last week, Nelson says Montanans can expect more snowstorms this winter. If your car breaks down or slides off the road, have an emergency vehicle kit in your car, complete with extra clothing, non-perishable food, and a blanket or sleeping bag. 

Other things to have in your kit are a flashlight, water, booster cables, a portable cell phone charger, a snow shovel, and an ice scraper with a brush. It is also a good idea to have flares or other bright objects, as well as kitty litter, which can help give traction to tires stuck in the snow.   Have a bright flag or other vibrant material, so any passing cars know you are stranded and need help.

If, for any reason, you decide to leave your car, give MHP a quick call to let them know you are leaving it there. This gives troopers a way to find the vehicle. Above all, if your car breaks down, get it off the roadway to prevent any crashes or other incidents.