Your car breaking down on you is not only frustrating, but it can also be incredibly dangerous, especially on a motorway, even more so if you don’t know what it is you’re meant to do. Many different eventualities could leave you unprepared for a breakdown, and unsure of what to do. Here’s what you should do to ensure you stay safe, and get moving as soon as possible.
1. Move The Car To A Safe Place
At the first sign of trouble regarding your car, gently ease off the accelerator and carefully move your car to the hard shoulder or side of the road. Avoid any sudden braking or turns, as this could result in an accident. Make sure you get as far to the left as it is possibly safe to do so and keep your wheels turned to the left.
2. Make Your Car Visible
This is a very important step, especially at night, when visibility is low anyway. The first thing to do is put on your side lights and hazard warning lights. Then, and only if you’re 100% sure that it’s safe to do so, you should place a reflectorized warning triangle several feet behind your car. Popping your hood is another great way to alert other drivers that you’re having car trouble.
3. Get To Safety Yourself
If it’s safe to do so, it is always best to leave your car and move yourself to somewhere safer, perhaps behind a barrier on the hard shoulder. Leaving the safety of your vehicle may be the last thing you want to do, especially if it’s raining, night time, or you’re on your own, but you are at a real danger of your car being hit by oncoming traffic, so it’s much safer to be outside of the vehicle.
4. Call For Help
Now would be the time to call a towing or breakdown company, such as Swan Towing, to come and assist you. Depending on your car breakdown policy with your insurance provider, you may simply need to call up your insurance company, and they will send someone out to help you. If you don’t have access to a mobile phone or your mobile phone has run out of battery, then follow the arrows on the back of the hard shoulder to help you reach an emergency phone. This phone is free to use, and connects you directly to the police, whom will be able to assist you from there.
5. If In Doubt, Call 999
If you can’t get to the hard shoulder, leave your vehicle, or feel in danger at any point during your breakdown, then it is always advisable to turn your hazard lights on and call the emergency services. Although you may not see the situation as an “emergency”, it can quickly become one if you or your vehicle aren’t in a safe place.
Just remember that in all situations like this, preparation is key. Try to make sure that you never leave the house without a charged a phone, valid insurance, a legal tyre tread, and the correct oil and water levels. If you’re properly prepared, and follow these simple steps, you will be a lot less stressed if you ever do happen to break down