Roadside Breakdown Advice
Suffering a breakdown whilst driving on a road or motorway can be stressful, but it is important that you stay calm and in control. Make sure you are prepared for this situation by taking a look at our roadside breakdown advice.
Get your car off the road
If your car breaks down whilst you are driving, the first thing that you need do is get off the road, whether you are on a country lane, an A road or the motorway. On all roads, find somewhere safe to pull over and stop your car. If you are on the motorway, get on to the hard shoulder or, if possible, drive to a service station off the motorway.
Alert other drivers
If you breakdown on the road, it is important that you don't put other motorists in danger or cause an accident, so you should try to make other road users aware of your vehicle if possible.
You should do this by switching your sidelights, hazard warning lights and interior light on to make yourself visible. You should also put on a reflective jacket if you have one in your vehicle.
If it is safe to do so, you should place a warning triangle on the road, around 45 metres behind your car, so other vehicles are warned to be alert and slow down before they reach your vehicle. You must not attempt to set up a warning triangle on motorways or busy roads.
Exit your vehicle
If you think that your vehicle is in danger of catching fire or could potentially be hit by another vehicle, you must exit it as soon as safe to do so. When it is safe to cross the road, make sure your passengers all get out of your car and wait safely away from the road.
If you are on the motorway, carefully exit the vehicle from the passenger side of your vehicle and move behind the barriers or on the bank. Make sure any children stay away from the road at all times. If you are travelling with pets, you should leave them in the vehicle for the time being.
You should then use your mobile phone to call for assistance from your breakdown service or a local garage. If you are travelling on a busy road, make sure that you inform the police, even if you do not think that the breakdown is serious, as this could help to prevent an accident or traffic delays.
Safeguard against breakdowns
Although you cannot completely eliminate the possibility of suffering a breakdown while on the road, you can reduce your chances with these helpful tips:
- Undertake car servicing annually or as frequently as advised by your vehicle manufacturer. A car service will reduce your chances of breaking down as it gives you the opportunity to have your vehicle inspected by a technician, who will alert you to signs of damage before components deteriorate and cause a breakdown!
- Listen to your car and pay attention! If you hear any unusual sounds then you should have it inspected by a specialist as soon as possible.
- Pay attention to your dashboard warning lights as they could prevent breakdown. Make sure you know what your dashboard warning lights mean and follow the correct action if you notice them come on.
- Always carry emergency supplies so that just in case you do breakdown, you are prepared to deal with it. Pack your boot with bottled water, a spare mobile phone or in-car charger and a reflective jacket.
For further information on what you should do if you suffer a breakdown on the road contact your local PTA Garage Services branch where one of our trained specialists will be happy to offer guidance.