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What to do if your Car Breaks Down

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September 27, 2011
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Make sure it’s just your car that breaks down

Although the best advice about breakdowns is to avoid having one by keeping your car serviced and in good working order, sometimes the fates will conspire against you.

When this happens, there are things you can do to make sure it’s just your car that suffers a breakdown …

Specialist insurance broker Adrian Flux has compiled a list of 10 things you should do to make a breakdown more bearable:

  1. Your first concern must be the safety of yourself, your passengers and other road-users. By turning on your hazard lights, you will be warning others that you have a problem.
  2. If you break down on a motorway, the best thing to do is to pull on to the hard shoulder, getting as far to the left as possible (and leaving your wheels pointing towards the left). This will prevent your car being pushed back on to the motorway if another car hits you from behind. Try to pull over near an emergency telephone.
  3. Exit the car through the passenger doors; this will keep you out of danger from other cars. Once you have left your vehicle, the safest place to stand is behind the crash barrier. All passengers should exit with you, but you must leave animals inside the car.
  4. Call a breakdown service from your mobile phone, or if you feel that you are in danger, call the police. Make sure you charge your phone before a long journey!
  5. If your mobile phone has no signal or battery, follow the signs to an Emergency Phone (staying on your side of the road – do not try to cross a motorway or dual carriage way). Calls are free and you will be connected straight to the police.
  6. Don’t panic! Although it’s a stressful situation, once you call your breakdown service or police, it’s only a matter of time until they get to you.
  7. Don’t try to fix your car yourself, it’s safer to call the breakdown service or police and wait for them to arrive.
  8. Prepare for a breakdown before a long journey. In the winter, keeping a torch, blanket and flask of hot drink in your car will keep the cold away. In summer, travelling with a bottle or two of fresh water is wise.
  9. If you have a warning triangle, place it at least 45 metres from the back of your car. This will make you more visible to moving vehicles. Be careful when placing or retrieving them, and avoid walking on the carriageway.
  10. If you feel at risk from a person, re-enter your car from the passenger side and lock your doors.

And finally, when your car is (hopefully) ready to go again, use the hard shoulder as an acceleration lane before pulling back onto the carriageway.

Flux Rescue provides cover for UK and European roadside assistance and recovery, including a home start service, all for less that £60.

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