No matter how much we try to look after our cars, breakdowns always seem to take place at the most inconvenient moments. Whether it be the minute before you walk down the aisle, or 3 weeks before pay day, challenges are sure to strike. Knowing how to deal with it, however, is half of the battle. Take note of the following procedures and eliminate some of the hassle.
Pull into hard shoulder
As soon as you sense something is wrong with your car, assess your options. If it’s possible, try to reach the next junction or a nearby service station. Pull onto the hard shoulder if not, calmly and carefully. Turn your hazard lights on (the side ones too if visibility is poor) and point your wheels away from the road. If you have one, wear a visibility vest to make sure you can be seen by all oncoming traffic.
Exit the vehicle
It’s important that you leave your vehicle as soon as possible. Adverse weather conditions are not an excuse to stay in your car! Failing to exit your vehicle could be extremely dangerous, should other drivers fail to notice that your car is stationary. Come rain or shine, exit on the left-hand side to avoid the traffic and head up the embankment. If possible, climb over a barrier and keep away from the hard shoulder.
Even if you have a warning triangle to put behind the car, this is not the time to attempt repairs- stay out of harm’s way and move from your vehicle. Call your breakdown service and inform them of your location. Stay calm and wait for them to arrive.
Re-join the motorway
If your vehicle has been repaired, try to build up speed along the hard shoulder. Re-join the motorway, only when there is a safe gap in the traffic. Ideally, pick a time when traffic volume is low- re-joining at rush hour isn’t the best option!