What should you do if you breakdown?

Filed in Blog by on May 11, 2018 0 Comments

Any car can breakdown, regardless of age and that's why it's important to have the reassurance of breakdown cover. However, you will have to wait to be rescued, regardless of the type of cover you have. Sadly, one of the most common causes of injury (and death) on the roads is when motorists who have broken down are hit by passing vehicles.
Here's a quick guide to staying safe...

Prevention is better than cure

Although a breakdown can happen to anybody, the most common causes can be usually be avoided by taking a few simple steps. A flat battery is the single most frequent cause of a road breakdown. Generally, a flat battery can be avoided by carrying out some simple regular maintenance checks.

All you need to do is to check regularly that the battery terminals are tight and that a thin layer of grease (Vaseline is ideal for this) is present. Similarly, regular checks on tyre pressure, and water and oil levels can ensure that a needless breakdown is averted.

What to do in the event of a breakdown

If at all possible, you should try pull over in a safe place and put the hazard warning lights on. If it is dark, you should also leave the car’s sidelights on too. It is not a legal requirement to travel with a high-visibility coat or vest. However, a breakdown is the time when a high-vis is extremely useful to allow other motorists to see you clearly. If safe to do so, a hazard warning triangle should be placed 45 metres behind the car to alert other motorists. Wait in the safest place. Typically - especially on busier roads - it is best to wait away from your car and traffic, if at all possible.

What to do if you break down on a motorway

By far the most dangerous place to breakdown is on a motorway. If you suspect that your car is in difficulties and is not running smoothly, try to leave at the next exit or service station and call for help safely away from the motorway traffic. If on the motorway and your car stops all of a sudden try to move to as far left and onto the hard shoulder. You should also turn your wheels to the left too. This means that if you are unlucky enough to have a car hit you, it won't be pushed out into the road. Never open the driver's door - you should exit your vehicle by the passenger side door and go over the barrier and walk for at least 50 metres before calling for assistance.

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