Having your car break down is one of those things we all hope will never happen. However, if this does happen, it is important to know what to do if you find yourself in that situation.
Quite often, breaking down can be avoided by maintaining regular care and servicing of your car. That’s where we at Tivoli! come in! Unfortunately, some situations may be unavoidable, or sudden, resulting in the vehicle breaking down.
What to do on a motorway or dual carriageway
The places most people fear breaking down are motorways or dual carriageways as they’re the busiest type of roadways.
It is advised, if you can, to pull onto the hard shoulder as soon as possible, put your hazard lights and sidelights on, then fully lock your wheels so that they are facing away from the road.
Next, put on a visibility vest if you have one, exit your car on the left-hand side and stay as far away from the traffic as you can. If you don’t have visibility vests, we recommend buying a few as they don’t take up much space in your car and are reasonably priced.
Once you’re in a safe location, this is where you can make phone calls. Firstly, call the local authorities and make them aware of the incident and your location so that appropriate help can come to assist you.
Following that, call your breakdown service so that they can come and either repair your vehicle there and then if possible, or take it to the garage to be repaired.
If you are in a situation where you are unable to follow the above points, then it is best to stay in your car with your seatbelt on, call 999 and wait for assistance.
With the addition of smart motorways in various areas, breaking down can become far more controlled, making traffic slow down or even having a lane closed off.
Smart motorway signs give easy to read instructions letting you know if anything has happened up ahead.
So, if you do break down on one of these roads, people will know before they get near to you.
What to do on secondary or minor roads.
For these smaller roads, there are a few changes that apply if you break down, compared to the larger roads.
Firstly, pull over to a safe place if you can. Many secondary roads will have hard shoulders, however, if there isn’t one then just pull over to your left as far as you can.
Next, turn on your hazard lights and sidelights to maximise your visibility.
Following that, put on a high visibility vest, exit on the left-hand side of your car, and place your red warning triangle 50 metres behind your car.
This will allow oncoming traffic to know that you have broken down. On these secondary roads, it is safer to get back into your car once you have followed all these steps.
The final steps are to ring the police for assistance, followed by calling your breakdown service as well.
It is important that all drivers know what to do in these situations, so if anyone you know is unfamiliar with these steps, share a link to this blog to help inform them of what to do if they break down.
Tivoli Auto Services
We are an independent garage based in Hastings. If you have any issues with your car or need a service and/or MOT, bring your car down to Tivoli and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help.
Contact us today on 01424 442277 to get your car booked in. We are here to give any advice that will help you get the most out of your vehicle.