What Would You Do If Your Car Broke Down?

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No one ever breaks down in their car at a convenient moment. You're always heading off somewhere important and you get delayed as a result, but would you be ready for anything if you were unfortunate enough to break down?

Sadly, many people aren't. The fact is that most of us go out in our cars and expect to get from A to B without incident. If the car lets us down in some way, we could be stuck and waiting for assistance for some time.

The first thing to do is to get you and your car to safety. Pull over to the side of the road if you can and make sure you put your hazard lights on. You can use a warning triangle if you keep one in the boot of your car - but only if you don't break down on a motorway. Of course, while these are a good idea, you should remember that your immediate safety always comes first.

When you do breakdown, safety should always be the most important thing to think about. On motorways this would normally mean getting out of your car and getting to safety, away from the motorway itself. If you've pulled over to the hard shoulder, you wouldn't use the driver's door as this puts you too close to the traffic.

In other locations it depends on where you are and what the circumstances are. For example, if you break down in the middle of a small village, you might be able to get the car into a car park or to a quiet spot. You can then see what the problem is and if you have the wherewithal you can see about fixing the problem yourself. You shouldn't do this on a motorway as it would be too dangerous with the cars speeding past you.

One aspect of breaking down that many people don't think about is to do with the weather. It could be the case that you break down on a hot summer's day, in which case having some water with you would be a good idea.

But supposing you break down in the middle of winter, would you know what to do? If this happens you won't have the heat from your car to keep you warm any more. That's why it is always a good idea to have blankets in the car, just in case. No one likes to think they may need them, but you never know when your car might let you down.

It helps to know that you can call on someone for help if you need it as well. Always make sure you have a mobile phone that is fully charged with you, and get adequate car breakdown insurance cover as well. You never quite know when it will come in useful.

Of course, prevention is always better than the cure so be sure to keep your car up to the standards set out in the Highway Code and if you're not sure about something, it's always worth taking it in to a garage to get a professional's opinion.
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