Should your car breakdown! How to stay safe while you wait for breakdown assistance
What do you prepare for a break down?
- Get Breakdown Cover – it’s relatively inexpensive for a Roadside Rescue policy and certainly a must if you break down. It could save you a lot of money and stress
- Breakdown emergency telephone number – keep it in the car at all times, just in case.
- Red warning triangle – always have one available. If you do break down, it will help you indicate so to other traffic.
- Reflective jacket – keep in the car to wear in case of bad visibility or at night.
- Top up mobile phone battery – getting an in-car charger could be a good idea.
- Always expect the unexpected – be prepared to be stranded in cold or wet weather, or an area of lousy visibility for some time. Store some warm clothing in the boot, plus a rug, waterproof reflective jacket, and walking shoes. You may have to take a walk to get rescued. Don’t forget a supply of chocolate!
- Road Map – if you are out of signal or battery, you won’t be able to use your sat nav or mobile phone. With a map permanently in the car, you will still be able to locate where you are to get assistance.
What to do if your car breaks down on the motorway
- Pull on the hard shoulder and park as far to the left as you can with the car wheels turned in to the left.
- Hazard lights – use them and if it’s dark or visibility’s poor turn on the sidelights as well.
- Exit car using the left-hand door – as well as any passengers – and keep any pets in the car or under strict control at the verge.
- Call assistance and wait by the car. You should Remain behind the barrier but if you have to walk to an emergency phone stay as far from the traffic as possible.
- Never try to fix the problem yourself– always wait for professional help.
- Don’t use the red warning triangle – with fast moving traffic the risks far outweigh the benefits of doing this.
- Reflective jackets – if you have them – wear them.[/box]
If you are on any other roads
- Find a safe place and pull over – make sure you are as far away from the traffic as possible.
- Switch off your engine.
- Turn on your hazard lights – if visibility is dangerous to leave your sidelights on as well.
- If there is a danger of other vehicles hitting your car – then get yourself and any passengers out of the car and away from the traffic.
- Red warning triangle – only if safe to be placed at least 50m behind your car on the same side of the road.
- Call for assistance – If you have to leave your car, you can lock your doors if necessary.
- Reflective jackets – if you have one put it on.