Top 5 Tips: How to stay safe if your vehicle breaks down
Would you know what to do?
More than three million of us will break down on Britain’s roads at some time in the next year. So it pays to have a clear idea of what to do if your vehicle suddenly conks out, especially if you’re a regular fleet driver.
Top 5 tips from experts at Allstar’s partner breakdown organisation, the AA:
Tip 1 - Turn on hazard warning lights
Turn on your hazard warning lights at the first sign of trouble. This alerts other road users that you may be stopping or pulling over. Leave your sidelights on if it’s dark.
Tip 2 - Get your vehicle off the road if you can
Try to get your vehicle off the road if you can.This reduces the serious risk of another vehicle running into yours and avoids causing an obstruction to traffic.
But take great care and assess the safety situation. You’ll be worrying about the mechanical problem with your car but instead the biggest risk in this situation can be that you cause an accident. So don’t get out and try to push your vehicle if it’s in a dangerous situation.
Tip 3 - Never try to fix your vehicle on a motorway
If you’ve been forced to stop at the side of the motorway get out of the vehicle using the nearside doors. Keep everyone away from the carriageway. Right over the barrier and on the embankment is the safest place.
If you’ve parked safely alongside a normal road everyone can stay in the vehicle. Only try to fix the car if it’s safe. Never even try to lift the bonnet if it’s on the motorway, even the experts will move your car to a safe place first – then work on it.
Tip 4 - Use a warning triangle
Use a warning triangle about 50 yards behind your vehicle, if it’s safe. But don’t even think about it on a motorway hard shoulder.
Tip 5 - Call for help
Contact your breakdown operator or the police. If you have no mobile phone use a motorway emergency phone (there’s one every mile).
Top 5 Tips to help you be prepared in advance:
Tip 1 - Arrange breakdown cover
Even a budget membership will be worth it if you breakdown at night in the rain. Our partners at the AA offer our fuel card customers a pay as you go service.
Tip 2 - Maintain your car
Keep to service intervals. The less it is maintained, the more likely a vehicle is to break down. You can add servicing to your account if you have an Allstar fuel card to help maintain your fleet. Find out how to add servicing, maintenance and repair.
Tip 3 - Carry a mobile phone
Keep it charged; so a car charger is a good idea. Also make sure you’ve got your breakdown provider’s number and your policy number in the car.
Tip 4 - Carry a road map
If your electrics go AWOL, so might your sat nav. A map helps you tell people where you are or helps you find the nearest garage.
Tip 5 - Carry the European safety kit
A warning triangle and reflective jacket don’t cost or weigh much but could be extremely useful in a breakdown. In most European countries they are compulsory.
The road safety leaflet ‘Surviving the hard shoulder’ gives more information about breaking down on the motorway.