How to Push a Car to the Side of the Road

To push a car to the side of the road, make sure you are in a safe spot. Then have someone help you by either pushing the rear or using the steering wheel.
Written by Rochelle Miller-Hernandez
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Table of Contentsdown arrow
Load full table of contents
Pushing a car to the side of the road is a difficult task, but with the help of one or two people, you can safely maneuver the car to a safe spot.
Unfortunately, there may be a time when you have to push your car to the side of the road. Maybe your
engine has stalled
, or you have a
dead battery
No matter the reason, it is important to remember that safety is the number one priority in this situation. You must look at your choices and determine the best course of action. If you can leave a stalled car where it is, then it is best to do so. But if you must move it, there are steps you can take that will make it easier and more secure.
Moving a stalled car is at a minimum a two-person job. Do not risk injury by attempting to do it alone. Besides it being almost impossible, it is very dangerous.
Keep in mind that it's safest to only attempt to push a car if you plan to do it across a flat surface–and never uphill.
So, read on for the ins and outs on how to push your car.

Make your car more visible

It is extremely important that other drivers on the road see you as you push your vehicle.
Turn on your emergency hazard lights. You need to make sure there is plenty of light so oncoming drivers know you are there.
Put out
LED Roadside Flares
. Place the flares behind your stalled car.
Traffic will see the flares about a mile ahead of time, allowing the drivers time to prepare for a hazard. You want to place one flare about 10 feet behind your car and the other about 300 feet behind your car.

Position you and your helper

Find at least one person to help. It takes at least two people to push a car.
If you don’t have passengers with you that can help, look around to see if there are any good Samaritans about. Three or four people assisting are better, but the minimum needed is two because one has to use the steering wheel from the driver's seat. Depending on the road conditions, you may not be able to push it at all.
Determine who will do what. Decide who is going to steer and who is going to push.

Push your car

Guide the car to a safe location. You will have to coordinate the steering and manipulation of the car’s movement.
  • Make sure the driver has the car window down so communication is clear between this person and everyone else.
  • Make sure your key is in the "on" position even if the car won't start.
  • Make sure the car is in neutral, whether you have manual transmission or automatic transmission.
  • Make sure the driver can easily brake when commanded. Have the driver test the brake pedal early on.
Use concise movements. Calculate the car’s direction as much as possible.
Unlike an operational vehicle, you cannot easily or quickly move a stalled car. So you must think about how you are going to maneuver it to the
side of the road
If possible, use calculated pushes of the car and steering of the wheel. If not possible, once the car starts moving just do what you can to steer it out of the way of traffic.
Key Takeaway: First, make sure your key is in the "on" position, the car's in neutral, and the person doing the steering can easily communicate with those pushing. Then check that the driver can brake if needed, and carefully push the car to the side of the road.
Let Jerry find your price in only 45 seconds
No spam · No long forms · No fees
Find insurance savings (100% Free)

Park your car

Once you've moved your car and it's in a safe spot, you should park it.
Securely park your car like you normally would–put it in park, turn off the ignition, and set the parking brake.
Whether you need to get your car fixed or towed afterwards, having the right insurance can put you at ease.
can help you sort through over 40 different carriers without the usual paperwork, so that pushing that car is all you'll need to worry about.


How can you push a car by yourself?

Unfortunately, you can't push a car by yourself. Besides the large amount of force it would take to push the car by yourself, you wouldn't have someone to steer the vehicle.
Anyone who attempts to push a car alone could find themselves in physical danger.

How hard is it to push a car?

Pushing a car will take a lot of work, but it's definitely possible. The initial pushes are hard, but thankfully, keeping the vehicle moving is easier.
Pushing a car to the side of the road is not an easy task. It takes the help of others and the patience to do it in a calm and safe manner. After successfully maneuvering your car to a secure location, you should call for a tow truck, a
roadside assistance
agency, or a body shop.
And once you're ready to asses damage and repair costs, ensure you have the right
car insurance
. To find the best deal, try car insurance broker and comparison app
Haven’t shopped for insurance in the last six months? There might be hundreds $$$ in savings waiting for you.
Judith switched to Progressive
icon savingsSaved $725 annually
Alexander switched to Travelers
icon savingsSaved $834 annually
Annie switched to Nationwide
icon savingsSaved $668 annually
Compare Car Insurance Quotes For Free
Jerry automatically shops for your insurance before every renewal. Members save $872/year.
rating primary
Rating on App Store
Start saving money!
12,000+ Reviews
Trusted by 3.5M car owners like you

You might also be interested

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free