My Car Broke Down: What To Do

Breaking down in your car is never in the plan for the day. It’s often a nasty and inconvenient development when you need it least. The good news is, if you know what to do and who to turn to in this situation it can usually be resolved quickly and safely.

It’s important for everyone to know this information, no matter how safe and reliable your car is. Here’s what you need to know and what you need to do when your car breaks down on the road.

Pull Over

If you’re able to, make sure you pull over wherever you can when your car starts to lose power. It’s essential that you make every effort to get out of the way of moving traffic. There may be some drivers who don’t notice you’ve broken down if you’re still in a traffic lane.

Once you’ve pulled over, exit the car as safely as possible so you’re out of harm’s way. If you’re not able to pull over and find yourself in the middle of traffic and it isn’t safe to exit the car, make sure you keep your seat belt on and call the emergency services.

Warn Other Drivers

If your car has broken down on the road, it’s at risk of being hit by another driver who isn’t paying attention. To make sure you protect yourself, your car, and other drivers, you’ll need to be visible. Firstly, use the car’s hazard lights to warn other drivers that your car has broken down and isn’t moving.

Secondly, wear a high visibility vest so drivers can see you as they approach. This is especially important during night time when visibility is minimized but you should also wear it during the day for extra precaution.

Call For Help

Who you call for help will depend on the circumstances of your breakdown. For instance, if you run out of gas, you may just want to call a family member or friend. If you don’t know why your car has broken down, you’ll need to get your car to a garage to be fixed.

If your insurance has breakdown cover, you’ll need to get in touch with your insurance provider. However, this can take a while and it may be quicker to call a local towing company. If you’re in the middle of heavy traffic or someone has been injured, you may need to call the police to provide assistance.

Wait Safely

While you wait for the police or towing company to arrive, it’s important that you wait somewhere safe. Waiting a safe distance from your car will mean you’re out of the way if an accident were to happen but close enough to reach it quickly when you need to.

If it’s cold or wet, try and wait somewhere under cover to stay dry and warm. If you’re able to wait indoors, do so and ask the towing company for an estimate on when they might arrive.

Top Tips:

  1. Pack an emergency bag. An emergency bag can come in handy in all types of situations but it’s especially useful during a car breakdown. Include items like a torch, a blanket, bottled water, snacks, and first aid kit. These items can help if you break down in the dark, during winter, or you have a long wait before being rescued.
  2. Always have contact numbers to hand. It can help to save important numbers on your phone so you don’t have to go searching for them in an emergency. Save local garages or towing companies on your phone, as well as a contact number for your car insurance providers or local police stations.

What Not To Do

There are some things you should avoid doing when your car breaks down. For instance, it can cause even more danger if you use a warning triangle on a busy road. If you’re stopped where there’s heavy traffic, stick to using just your hazard lights.

If you have pets with you, don’t take them out of the car. Taking your pets out of the car can put them in danger. They may get easily scared by oncoming traffic and try to escape. This could result in injury. Try and keep the conditions of the car comfortable for your pet and offer water and food if you can.

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