Breakdowns can happen quick and unexpected to deal with, usually and typically it can be hard to find a safe place to stop. We have provided some guidlines for you to try and remember if this ever happens.
Motorway hard shoulders are for emergency use only this means you should only stop if you cannot make it to a safe place or the police require you to stop, it is NOT to be used for a place to make or receive phonecalls or use to rest etc.
If an emergency forces you to stop try and follow these guidelines ;
If you can't get onto the hardshoulder try and pull over where you think is the safest option, switch on your hazard warning lights and leave your vehicle ONLY when you can safely get clear of the carriageway.
If your car suddenly becomes unstable or you feel steering problems like your steering becomes very heavy you may have a puncture or blow-out (burst tyre ).
What to keep in your car
A break down or accident is bad any time, but worse during harsh winter weather. A few inexpensive items kept in your car during winter months can increase safety and reduce misery. Ideally, your emergency kit should fulfill four priorities:
Get help, stay safe, stay warm, and stay occupied.
1. Get help
Roadside assistance: Many new cars include a
roadside assistance program which will provide
towing if your car breaks down. If not there are
many companies that assist in roadside breakdowns.
Mobile phone and car charger: If you don't have a mobile phone, consider buying an inexpensive pre-paid unit to keep in your car so you can call for assistance. Make sure you have a car charger; many new cars have power outlets in the center console storage box so you can charge your phone away from the eyes of potential thieves.
2. Stay safe
Emergency flares and/or hazard triangles: Winter accidents frequently result in damage to your car's rear lights, which means your hazard flashers will not work. In a snowstorm or fog, other cars may not see a wreck until it's too late to avoid it. You must if possible set out flares or hazard triangles to warn cars and avoid a second collision. In the event the car goes off the road in deep snow, these items can also help emergency services personnel locate you and your car.
First aid kit: Bad weather may delay emergency workers, so it's a good idea to carry a small, simple first aid kit in case of an accident. This should stay in the car all year round especially if you have children! You always need a plaster when out.
Small LED flashlight: Don't rely on the vehicle's electrical system for light -- if it's working, you want to conserve the car's battery as much as possible. LED flashlights use much less energy than regular incandescent flashlights, making them a great choice for your emergency kit. The Mini Maglite LED is more expensive than many small flashlights but its rugged construction makes it worth the price.
3. Stay warm
Emergency blanket: Most cars use the engine to produce heat, so if the engine conks out, so does the heater. Even if the engine is working - say, after an accident - running the engine is a safety gamble, because if the exhaust system has rust holes or damage, fatal exhaust fumes can seep into the passenger compartment. Besides, your car may not be the safest place to be in an emergency. Emergency blankets are small, light and cheap. Buy extras if you frequently travel with passengers.
Ski hats: Experts say that 30 to 40 percent of body heat can be lost through the head. Carry a few inexpensive beanie-style winter hats, big enough to cover the ears.
4. Stay occupied
Children's books or games: If you travel with children, keep a few emergency activities stowed away to fight boredom and keep the kids occupied while you wait for help.
Non-perishable snacks: Munchies help pass the time and will keep your energy and morale up while you wait for help. You don't need to lay in supplies for a week-long stay; a couple of chocolate bars and/or some dried fruit or nuts in a non-glass container will suffice.
Where to carry your emergency kit
The most logical place to store your emergency kit would be the boot! The problem is if you're in a collision that damages the rear end of the car, you may not be able to get the trunk open. Consider carrying your emergency kit in a small duffel bag and storing it in the passenger's footwell, where it can be easily accessed by the driver (and where it won't become a projectile in a collision). If your kit includes flares and you travel with children, store the flares in the trunk and keep a backup hazard triangle in the bag.
If you are involved in an accident or stop to give assistance
If you are involved in an accident which causes damage or injury to any other person, vehicles, animal or someone's property you MUST stop
If you hear or see emergency vehicles be prepared to give way, they may need to manouvere around you, let them know if you are intending to pull over by signalling as this may help them on their way, try not to block the road by stopping near an island in the middle of the road or where you may cause an obstruction for them.