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Jun 07

Being Prepared for a Vehicle Breakdown

Your car breaking down, usually at the worst possible time may be inconvenient and stressful at best and dangerous at worst. Knowing how to reduce the risk of breaking down and what to do if this is unavoidable should be information all drivers know and understand.

There are a number of things you should check or arrange before setting off on any journey. These will help you stay safe in the event of a breakdown or even avoid having one altogether, depending on the situation.

– Keep a road map book in the car. The majority of drivers nowadays tend to opt for a sat nav or the navigation apps on their phone when travelling. These are great however when your phone dies or your sat nav goes on the blink you could find yourself on unfamiliar roads with no clue where you are or where you are going, important information especially if you experience car trouble.

– Keep your mobile handy. If you do experience a breakdown or an emergency when out and about having a fully charged mobile phone which has credit or is on a contract could be very useful. Have emergency numbers programmed in (and written somewhere in case your phone fails) is essential and you might wish to consider a travel charger.

– Keep change in the car. A selection of coins could come in handy if you need to use a pay phone to call for help. As above, make sure you keep important numbers written down outside of your mobile phone in case you lose it or it runs out of battery / experiences a fault.

– Be prepared. Ensure you have everything you could possibly need in the car before setting off. You must always have a red warning triangle in case of a breakdown to alert other drivers of your whereabouts and a high visibility waterproof jacket or a waterproof with a hi-vis vest to wear over it.

Keep sensible shoes in the boot in case you need to walk to a garage or emergency phone and essentials for all weathers including water, snacks, blankets, a stocked first aid kit and anything else which may be needed to keep yourself and passengers safe and well until they reach home or their destination.

– Know Your Car. When hiring or borrowing a car for travelling it is important that you familiarise yourself with it before setting off. It is also very wise to remind yourself, and check inside the fuel cap to be sure what fuel the car uses. An estimated 150,000 drivers a year in the UK put the wrong fuel type into their car which will cause it to grind to a halt and potentially cause significant damage if not dealt with quickly and efficiently. Keep the number for Fuel Fix on you at all times who are able to help with this situation as you don’t know when you’ll need them.

The Highways Agency have a magazine which offers up to date guidance on what to do in the event of a breakdown on a motorway which is a situation which could pose significant risk to drivers and passenger therefore it would be advisable to contact them to obtain a copy.

Provided you are prepared for a breakdown and know how to manage the situation should one occur there is no good reason why you shouldn’t be back on the road or safely home as quickly as possible.

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