Disaster strikes. Your car has broken down. You’re stranded in the middle of the road and now there’s a queue of vehicles behind you. The panic is beginning to set in, and your mind has gone blank, leaving you with no idea what to do. This kind of scenario is anxiety-inducing for everyone but fortunately, there’s plenty of help out there for to you. It’s just about knowing where to begin.
So, we’ve written this handy little article to help those currently stranded or those who want to prepare themselves in case of a breakdown. Read this step by step guide if you need some clarity on what to do in this stressful situation.
Hazard Warning Lights
We’re beginning with the basics here. Regardless, turning on your hazard warning lights is essential. It can prevent collisions from occurring, keeping you and those around safe. This also means other drivers can see that you require help, which is useful for the next step. Don’t forget if you’re somewhere dark or foggy to keep your sidelights on, too.
Moving the Car
The next step is moving your car from the road. If your car is still functioning, take it to the nearest exit or pull it onto the hard shoulder of a motorway. The rule of thumb is to get away from the traffic. If your vehicle is completely broken down, this is where you might need good-willed drivers to help you. Rolling a car isn’t an easy feat, after all.
Take Care of Yourself
Make sure to put space between you and oncoming traffic. On motorways or dual carriageways, this means staying behind the barriers. You should also keep your car doors closed and any pets within the vehicle, as the latter could become panicked and run out in front of traffic. If you have any bright or high-vis clothing available, you’ll want to put that on, too. This means approaching cars can see you and therefore avoid you.
Call a Breakdown Service
This is the most important step. Many people feel inclined to call their friends and family for help in these situations, but you should actually avoid doing this at all costs. Otherwise, you’ll be putting another person at risk who isn’t trained for such circumstances. We recommend calling a local and reliable service. In the instance that you don’t already have a point of contact in place, a simple google search of “breakdown service + your location” will point you in the right direction. For instance, if you’re based (or just breakdown) in Manchester, searching this phrase will bring you to car recovery services such as Breakdown Man who run a 24/7 service in that area. You can then visit their site, call their number and get someone out right away. This means you’ll be waiting on the road for less time, can trust them with your vehicle, and be assured you’re safe in their hands. It’s definitely worth having a breakdown service like this in your phonebook at all times just in case disaster strikes.
Determine Your Location
You’ll want to figure out your whereabouts so when it comes to calling for help, you’ll know where to direct them. Obviously, don’t put yourself at risk as you attempt to do so. Keep yourself away from traffic by staying at the side of the road, behind barriers. It’s more dangerous to do this when travelling down in country lanes, so it’s better to flag down a passing vehicle instead. Remember to check the road signs and take note of your surroundings. The more detail you can gather, the better, as this will make it quicker and easier for breakdown services to find you.
Identify the Problem
If you can, figure out what caused your breakdown in the first place. This will be helpful when it comes to calling a breakdown service because they’ll know what resources they’ll need to resolve the issue. Just don’t try fixing the problem yourself as you’ll likely do more harm than good.
This is our step by step guide to navigating a car breakdown. Remember, the safety of yourself and others is the priority here.
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© by Laura Millington 2020