Broken Down? Here's What To Do

Posted by Ben Davidson about 4 months ago

There are very little things in life quite as frustrating as breaking down in your car. It can also be an incredibly stressful and worrying experience, and if you are out on the road, one that can be frightening and potentially dangerous.


While you cannot necessarily prevent a breakdown from happening, there are ways that you can prepare for one so that if or when it does happen, you are able to get to safety and hopefully be back on the road to your destination as soon as possible. Here, we look at what to do when you have broken down. Read it and remember it; it could come in use one day!


One thing to bear in mind is that every situation can be different, depending on where you have broken down, the traffic conditions, weather and so on, so it is important to mentally assess the situation before getting out of the car.



Take note of where you are


This is really important should you need to call for help, whether that is from friends or family, a breakdown organization, a towing service or even the emergency services. Look for visible landmarks such as bridges or buildings, or where the nearest major exit or crossroads are. If you are on an interstate highway, look at the mile markers or last exit numbers or even the emergency phone box number. You will need this for assistance to be able to get to you.


Alert other motorists


One of the biggest dangers is from other motorists. Making them aware that you are there and unable to move is important to stop any collisions from taking place. They may be travelling at speed and they need to see you from as far away as possible to give them the chance to switch lanes. Turn on your emergency flashers, particularly at night or in reduced visibility. If you have a warning triangle in your trunk - which it is advised to - put that next to your vehicle to direct traffic around. 


Call for assistance


If you are in a safe location away from traffic, stay in your vehicle. If you are in traffic, get out of the vehicle and move to somewhere safe away from the road and other vehicles and call for assistance. 


Stay with your vehicle if it is safe to do so


You may have offers of help - people may pull over and ask if you need a lift to a service or gas station or offer to tow you. While in most cases the offers are genuine, there may always be the chance of it not being so innocent. Most experts agree that it is safer to stay with your vehicle until professional assistance or someone you know arrives, but if you do have to or choose to accept help from a stranger, make a note of their name and license plate number and leave that in your vehicle.


We all hope that we won’t need this advice, but cars can and will break down at some point. Knowing what to do when this happens can make it a slightly less stressful experience.


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