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What to do if your car breaks down on the road

Car problems that happen in the middle of a journey are a motorist’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, even if you constantly check your vehicle, stick to driving carefully and so on, this is far from a guarantee that your car will not break down.

In addition, other users on the roads may be less careful and responsible than you. Unfortunately, this can lead to accidents. So what do you do if your car breaks down on the road?

What do you absolutely need to carry in your car?

There is a list of items that must necessarily be in every vehicle. In addition to the fact that this list is enshrined by law, having all these things is about your safety.

• A warning triangle that alerts other road users that you are in a difficult situation.

• A fire extinguisher.

• Reflective waistcoats, which should be worn by both driver and passengers.

• A first aid kit.

• A spare wheel and a jack.

What to do if your vehicle will not work

Your first task is to ensure both your own safety and that of other road users.

1.Try to remove the car from the carriageway as quickly as possible. If possible, move it to a special emergency lane.

2.Switch on your emergency lights.

3.Make sure you and your passengers wear brightly-coloured reflective waistcoats.

4.You can then leave the vehicle and place a warning triangle to alert other motorists that you are in trouble (the distance must be at least 45m / 147ft behind the vehicle on the same side of the road). You cannot do this on motorways.

5.If the accident occurs at night, leave your parking lights on if possible.

6.Do not stand between your car and oncoming traffic. At night, it is important not to block the flow of light from your car.

What are the rules for emergency stopping on a motorway?

1.Firstly, you should try to pull off the motorway at an exit ramp into a designated emergency stopping zone. If this is not possible, use the special kerb and park on the left with the wheels turned to the left.

2.Try to stop near an emergency phone. They are located every mile (1.6km).

3.Get out of your vehicle on the left-hand side if possible.

4.It is better to call a specialised service than to carry out repairs yourself. This can be very dangerous in motorway conditions.

5.Passengers, children and animals should be supervised and as far away from the kerb as possible.

6.There are special arrows on the reinforced kerb that explain how to safely get to the special help phone. When talking on the phone you should always look in the direction of oncoming traffic.

7.Next, after contacting the police and highways agency, calmly tell them everything that happened to you and who was travelling with you in the car.

8.Once you have done this, return to the car and wait near it for help.

If you are prepared for the possibility that your car might break down, it will be much easier to cope with the situation.

Information sources: Car jacks useful information - www.autodoc.co.uk + What to do when your car breaks down on the road - www.crossroadshelpline.com + What to do when a tyre punctures - autodoc.co.uk

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