Sep 18, 2020
Breaking down can be scary for motorists and in that situation, it can be hard to know what to do to stay as safe as possible. Panic and confusion can set it, leaving you unsure of what to do.
Here is our guide on what to do if your car breaks down.
What to do if you break down on a motorway Some motorways in the UK are often referred to as smart motorways, because there’s no hard shoulder - but here’s how to maximise your safety:
● Switch your hazard lights on, and if visibility is poor it is good to switch on those fog lights also.
● If it is safe to do so, move to the nearest emergency refuge area which appears around every 1.5 miles. You will recognise them by a blue sign and orange SOS phone symbol.
● Use the phone to get in touch with Highways England and wait on the other side of the safety barrier until help arrives.
If you can’t make it to an emergency refuge area, pull up as close as you can to the verge or if you have broken down in the middle or right hand lane, stay inside the car with your seatbelt on and call 999. The use of CCTV on smart motorways will pick up your broken down vehicle and close the lane.
What to do if you break down on quieter roads
Breaking down on a quieter road may not be as dangerous as breaking down on a motorway but they can still be hazardous and here’s what you need to do should you find yourself in this situation:
● Turn on your hazard lights and if it’s dark you need to switch on your sidelights.
● Pull over to a safe place away from traffic and leave your car from the door furthest away from the traffic.
● If you have a reflective jacket or red warning triangle, use them. The triangle should be at least 45 metres behind the car.
● Call your breakdown cover or local garage for help.
● If your car is obstructing the road, you will need to call the police on the non-emergency number and let them know.
One of the best ways to avoid a breakdown is to prepare before you set off, you can take your car to a local garage for a quick once over before you set off on a long journey or keep a breakdown kit in the boot of your car. If you have noticed any car problems that could result in a breakdown, do not ignore them! Prevention is always the best cure.
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