Like the Scouts say – be prepared. If you're heading off on a long journey, or even doing the daily commute, a few simple checks before you leave can save you from the breakdown blues.
Keep a copy of your breakdown cover documents in your glove compartment, or save your breakdown provider's emergency number so you have it in the case of an emergency.
Your car will usually give you some indication that it's not happy.
If you think your car is about to stop, try to find a safe place to pull over. On a dual carriageway or on a motorway, this could be a layby or hard shoulder.
If the car grinds to a halt before you reach a safe place, try to bring it to a halt as far away from the main flow of traffic as possible. Pull off the road if you can on an A or B road and pull on to the hard shoulder on a motorway.
If you're on a smart motorway and there's no hard shoulder, stop in the emergency refuge area or pull over off the road if you can.
When you stop on a motorway hard shoulder, normally the safest place to wait for help is away from moving traffic and so that you can see the rear of the vehicle. If you can get there safely, stand a safe distance behind a crash barrier (if there is one) and well away from the broken down car. Ideally, you should all be wearing hi-vis jackets.
If you stop in a live lane of a motorway or on the carriageway and you can't safely move the car off the road, put your side lights and hazard lights on straightaway. Whilst you will be best placed to assess your situation and make decisions regarding your own safety, if you decide to remain in the vehicle stay in the car then put your seatbelts on and call 999.
Never try to mend the car at the side of the road. Call your breakdown service and leave it to the professionals.
When you stop on a motorway hard shoulder, everyone will need to get out of the car and stand behind the safety barrier.
Some basic essentials can make a bad breakdown situation much more bearable. Our breakdown equipment checklist outlines what to carry in your boot in case of breakdowns.
*Average response time of 50.43 mins. 93.25% of customers were able to complete their journey, based on 118,919 jobs from Agent Performance Review Report. Aug '19- Feb '20
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