What to do if you break down

What to do if you break down 15th October 2014

At some point or another, most of us will experience the nightmare of breaking down on the road. It's inconvenient and can be very annoying, but cars can fail and need repaired, and it's important to know what to do when you're out on the road and the worst happens. 

Whether your tyres, exhaust or engine prove to be the problem, getting them repaired so you can get back on your way will be your biggest priority. 

If you do break down on the road, make sure you follow our tips for safety and getting yourself back on track.

  • Get off the road The first thing you always need to do is get your car clear of the carriageway. As soon as you suspect an emergency, put on your hazard lights and pull off the road to park. 
  • Get the lights right Once you're off the road, make sure other drivers can see you. Leave your side lights on but turn off headlights so you don't blind oncoming traffic, and then put on your hazard lights so that other vehicles are aware of your presence. 
  • Exit the vehicle safely If you are off the road, you need to make sure you are out of your vehicle. Accidents can happen, and remaining in the car isn't a good idea. Exit via the left door so you're not stepping into the road and make sure all passengers do the same. From there, move up the embankment and stay well clear of the road. 
  • Be visible Even though you're well clear of the vehicle, it's still best to make sure other road users can see you. If you have high visibility jackets or vests in the car, put these on as soon as possible. 
  • Don't do it yourself You should never attempt to carry out DIY jobs on your car at the roadside. It's dangerous to be on the road and you will endanger yourself by trying to fix your car. Always wait for professional help. 
  • Call for help Once you are safe and clear of the vehicle, your next step is to call for someone to come rescue you. If you have breakdown cover, make sure you have your policy number to hand and call your provider, telling them exactly where you are and what you think the problem might be. Issues like mobile tyre fitting can also be addressed and rectified roadside to get you back on your way.

Posted by Danielle Barge