Breaking down in your car unexpectedly can be hugely frustrating. Suddenly, you’re stranded, possibly in danger, and you need to think on your feet. If you’re unprepared for the event, you may not know what to do next.
The prospect of trying to organise a rescue party can seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be. When you know how to get out of this tricky situation, it’s just a matter of taking the steps you need to so you and your vehicle are safe. Here’s what you need to know.
Move To A Safe Place
This is always important but particularly important if weather conditions are poor or you break down during the night. If you’re able to, move your vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic. This may mean rolling your vehicle onto the hard shoulder. This will ensure other cars do not drive into your vehicle.
When your car is safe, exit your vehicle on the side of the car where there is no traffic. Stand in a safe place and wait for assistance to arrive.
Let Others Know
If you have a breakdown kit, be sure to take it with you when you exit your vehicle. Put on a high-visibility jacket so you can easily be seen by other drivers. If you have warning triangles, place them at the back and front of your vehicle so other people know that your car has broken down.
It can also help to take your car manual with you. For instance, a Corvette owner’s manual may be able to tell you about repairs that your car could need. Although an owner’s manual could give you some clues as to why your vehicle has broken down, you should never attempt to fix it yourself, especially on busy roads.
Call A Recovery Company
If you already have cover for your car, this process will be much easier. As a customer, you’ll have direct access to a recovery call line that you should be able to find easily if you have your phone with you. If, for any reason, you’re without your phone, there are often roadside emergency phones available.
If you don’t have cover for breakdown assistance, you have two choices. You can either opt to start cover with a big recovery company who will attempt to fix your car on the road or you can contact the nearest car garage and ask to be towed. Both options will cost more than if you already have cover in place.
Call Emergency Services
Unfortunately, not all breakdowns are because of faulty cars. Some are the result of road traffic accidents which can lead to injuries for those involved. If you have been involved in an accident, it’s vital that you call the emergency services right away.
Even when you feel fine, you should be checked by a medical professional. Many people aren’t aware of the injuries they sustain until many hours after an accident because adrenaline can mask them. The police will also need to investigate the scene and take an account of what happened. This will help you if the accident wasn’t your fault and you want to make an injury claim at a later date.
Stay Warm and Dry
If you break down in harsh weather conditions, you’ll need to make yourself a priority. The average wait time for roadside assistance varies widely but it can take hours before anyone reaches you. If you’re in freezing temperatures, make sure you stay warm.
If it’s not safe to stay inside your car, find the nearest shelter to ensure you stay dry and out of any cold winds. If you have extra clothing or blankets in your car, take them with you and use them to stay warm while you wait.
Contact Friends and Family
When your car breaks down, you should inform your family and friends so they know where you are. Someone may be able to come and wait with you or bring you what you need until the recovery service arrives. It’s also a good way to ensure people know exactly where you are.
If the worst happens and you aren’t rescued by roadside assistance, your loved ones will know your exact location and be able to tell emergency services where you are.
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