Breaking down in your car can be a frustrating and stressful experience, here at carhoots we have the top 10 tips to surviving a break down on the motorway or on other roads.
Doing just a few things before you leave could really help ease the stress should you break down
1. Make sure you have breakdown cover
Sounds obvious but ensuring you have the right cover in place is essential. Make sure you know who to call when you break down and the service you can expect to get. Keep details of the number you need to call to hand, save the number in your phone and keep your policy certificate with these details in the glove box. Checking up on details such as if your cover extends to a trip abroad is worth a few minutes too.
2. Always have a road map in the car
Don’t rely on your satellite navigation devices or a map on your phone to tell you where you are, if you’re out of signal or battery you may need the road map to tell people where you are so you can get help.
3.Keep a few spare coins in the car or a phone card
Incase you need to call for help and dont have signal or battery on your mobile phone. Its also a good idea to invest in a in car phone charger incase you need it.
4. Always carry a red warning triangle
Make sure you always have one of these in the car, this will be your best indicator to other vehicles that you have broken down.
5. Keep your boot stocked with essential items
You never know what situation you could find yourself stuck in, you could be in cold, wet and bad light conditions for a long time. You may also need to walk for some time to find an emergency telephone so make sure you are prepared for anything! Kit out your boot with warm clothes, rugs, waterproofs, reflectives and sensible shoes.
You will need to respond in different ways depending on the location you break down.
If you’re on the motorway;
6. Pull over as soon as possible
If you break down on the motorway its essential you get off the main lanes where cars are traveling up to 70 mph as soon as possible. Pull your car over and use the hard shoulder to slow down before stopping.
7. Never try to fix your car on the hard shoulder
No matter how simple you think the problem may be being so close to fast moving traffic it is far too dangerous to attempt any repairs, call for help and wait for a professional to come and fix.
8. Turn your front wheels towards the verge and switch on your hazard lights
Don’t try to display your warning triangle, the fast moving traffic make this too dangerous.
9. Get your passengers out of the car to a safe place
Behind the crash barrier if there is one, make sure children stay with you at all times and leave pets in the car.
10. Call for assistance and wait by the car
If you need to walk to a telephone make sure you stay behind the barrier or as far away from the traffic as possible. Roadside markers will indicate the closest phone. When waiting for help stand by your vehicle as far away from the traffic as possible.
If you’re on any other roads:
6. Find the safest place to pull over
You still need to be aware of traffic on quieter roads, make sure you are as far away as possible
7. Switch off your engine
8. Turn on your hazard lights
In bad weather leave your side lights on too.
9. Use your red warning triangle
Put this at least 50m behind your vehicle to warn oncoming traffic that you have broken down.
10. Call for help and wait in the car for it to arrive
Find the nearest telephone or use your mobile then wait inside your car for help to arrive, locking your doors if you don’t feel comfortable in the area your in.
By Lauren Iredale