Breaking down can be a dangerous and scary situation, but here are some of the steps that you should take in order to make sure that you and your fellow drivers remain as safe as possible.
The first thing to do in this situation is to make sure that you and other road users are safe. Put your hazard lights on and try to pull over to the side of the road. If you are on the motorway use the hard shoulder, or, if your car is able to, drive it off the motorway as this will be safer.
Turn your wheels to the curb so that if anyone hits you, this will prevent you rolling into traffic. Once you have parked, get out of the car using the passenger door. If you have a high visibility jacket or a red warning triangle then put the jacket on and place the sign a short distance away from your car. If you are on a motorway do not use a red warning sign, as the risk involved in using it usually outweighs the benefit. Leave your hazard lights on, and if it is dark then leave your parking lights on as well.
Breaking down can be even more of a trial if you have passengers in the car. Make sure that if passengers are exiting the car they also use the doors facing away from the flow of traffic. If you have children then make sure they are kept under control, and safely away from any hazards. If you are on a motorway then this may mean waiting behind the barrier on the side of the road. Additionally, if you have pets in the car then make sure they are secured, or keep them locked in the car so that they don’t run into traffic.
Once you, your passengers and your vehicle are as safe as possible then call your breakdown service or the police for assistance. It is best not to try any repairs yourself. Give as much detail of the problem and your location as possible and wait for support. Whilst waiting, stay in the car only if it is safe and secure to do so.
The steps you follow when you breakdown depend largely on how much it is safe to do when considering the risk to both you and other road users. Your intuition is key, but generally try to follow these steps: