To many motorists there is nothing scarier than breaking down while you’re out on the road. Having a tyre explode or feeling something going wrong mechanically can be particularly stressful, especially if you’re on a motorway or you’ve got the family in the car with you.
One of the main reasons for the fear of breaking down is because the driver doesn’t know what to do if something goes wrong. Not everyone knows exactly what to do to resolve certain issues relating to cars no matter how small or how large the issues are. The key is to ensure that you’ve got some kind of cover like Budget Direct Roadside Assistance so that if the worst does happen, you can call someone out to help you.
When something does go wrong with your car, the first thing you need to try and do is to stay calm and keep control of the vehicle to the best of your ability, pulling off the road at the earliest – and safest – opportunity. On the motorway, you have the ‘hard shoulder’, a space left specifically for the use of vehicles that have broken down so they can pull safely away from the traffic going by.
Having pulled onto the hard shoulder, you should put the hazard lights on so that other road users can see that you have a problem and then you should get out of the vehicle and stand on the embankment or away from the vehicle in case another road user fails to spot your stranded car and collides with it. If you have any high visibility clothing in the car, such as a coat or jacket, then wear it to help you to be seen.
If you’re not on the motorway, then it is advisable to use some form of warning device to give other road users time to react to your broken down vehicle. Warning triangles and other devices should be placed around 50 yards from the vehicle so that other drivers have time to break or adjust.
Having called for assistance, wait for the recovery vehicle to arrive. Providing as much information about the problem and your location will be essential to resolving the issue quickly so that the assistance can get to you quickly and easily. It’s not always possible to know exactly where you are, but on the motorway there are signs with numbers on and these will help you when it comes to giving your location.
Most importantly, you should not return to your vehicle until help arrives. Doing so is particularly dangerous so take everything you could need with you and make sure everyone – pets included – is out of the car.