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What should you do if you breakdown | Autonet Insurance

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Have you ever been in the situation where you have broken down whilst driving on a busy road? Panic is normally the first feeling that sets in. So what do you do if you breakdown? The main thing to remember is to stay calm and follow these useful steps.

Handy Tips

  • In poor weather keep your sidelights on
  • If it is safe to leave the vehicle, try and find a safe place to stand away from the roadside
  • Use your all important hazard lights

Step 1

  • Get your vehicle off the road as quickly as possible to avoid obstructing traffic – Be sure to switch your hazard lights on to warn other drivers you have broken down.
  • If you are unable to move your vehicle, switch on your hazard lights and remain in your vehicle. 

Step 2

  • Put your warning triangle (if you have one) at least 45 metres behind your broken-down vehicle on the same road - only if it is sage to do so and take great care when placing or retrieving it.

Step 3

  • Call your breakdown service; they should normally be with you within the hour. Most breakdown patrol officers will be able to tell you what is wrong with your vehicle and fix the issue at the side of the road.

 What you need to know if you breakdown on a motorway

  • You should only pull into the hard shoulder in case of an emergency. If it is an emergency stop as far left as possible with your wheels turned to the left.
    If possible you and all your passengers should exit the vehicle using the left door (away from traffic) and wait beyond the safety barrier, if safe to do so.
  • Leave any animals in the vehicle or in an emergency keep them under proper control on the verge.
  • Walk to the nearest emergency telephone on your side of the carriageway (follow the arrows on the posts at the back of the hard shoulder), the telephone is free to use and connects directly to the Highways Agency or the police. Always face the traffic when you speak on the phone.
  • Give full details to the Highways Agency or the police, and inform them if you are a vulnerable motorist; such as if you are disabled, older or travelling alone.
  • Before re-joining the motorway from the hard shoulder you need to make sure that you build up speed on the hard shoulder and watch for a safe gap in the traffic. However be aware as other vehicles might be stationary on the hard shoulder.