What to do when you breakdown

Has your car broken down? Don't panic, if your car has a breakdown here are our top tips on what you can do to stay safe. Read a quick & actionable guide.

Before you even think about reading this, if you haven’t got a breakdown cover already, now might be the time to think about getting it.

Breaking down can be scary and worrying, especially if you don’t know what to do, but rather than panicking and have a breakdown yourself, here’s what you should do.

Top tip: keep calm

Whatever you do, try not to panic. We know that’s easier said than done but being overcome with panic is likely to cloud your judgment and make you panic even more if anything.

You’re in control and you remain in control, that’s the main thing.

Where have you broken down?

Before you can figure out what to do, it all depends on where exactly you have broken down, and here are just a couple of examples.

Break down on a road

If you break down on the road and you can manage to get yourself to the side of the road, preferably off it, then brilliant!

Once you get there safely, its hazards on, you could keep your sidelights on too but just think about your poor battery. If you happen to have an emergency kit in your car too, we’re thinking maybe a hi-vis, or some type of reflective clothing, this will help to keep you safe and improve your chances of being seen.

Do you have a warning triangle too? If so, place it around 50-100m behind your car. Every little thing helps and can make that little bit of a difference.

Next…you’ll be glad to know it’s time to call for help, provided you have a signal that is.

Depending on what time of day it is too if you can stay hydrated and stay visible, you should be sorted.

Break down on the motorway

Breaking down on the motorway can be scary but the advice above can be applied to motorways too. If you can just get your car to the outside lane and onto the hard shoulder, jobs a gooden. Let’s say for whatever reason you don’t manage to make it to the outside lane, for example, if you’re stuck in the middle lane and your car dies, it’s just a simple job of hazards on and staying in your car until its safe.

Traffic will eventually slow down, hopefully, it’s sooner rather than later, but it will, and it gives you the chance to get out of your car.

Flick your hazards on, but you can forget about your warning triangles if you’re on the hard shoulder, they do nothing but just end up getting the way of response vehicles.

When it comes to phone for help, you don’t tend to get much signal on a motorway so if you can, use an emergency phone nearby. If you’ve never used one before, these are fab as they have a precise location on them, and know exactly where you are. While you’re on the phone, give the traffic something to look at and stand facing them while you’re on the phone.

Once you’ve reported yourself, waiting at the bank next to your car is your safest bet.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Before setting out on your journey, if you can prepare beforehand for the possibility of a breakdown, you’ll be doing yourself a massive favour and you’ll thank yourself in the long run.

What can you do:

  • Prep a little breakdown kit in your car with a few of the essentials. Just by having small bits in your car could make a real difference if you were to breakdown
  • Keep your eyes peeled and watch out for any early warning signs. It’s always best to get these looked at as soon as if you spot any.
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