Staying safe when the highway gets your vehicle down
**A contributed post as written for The Safe Driver.
Breaking down on a busy road is every driver’s worst nightmare. As well as putting you at risk, a disaster like this could cause a significant pile up. Yet, you can guarantee that, if you do break down, it’s going to happen somewhere you wish it wouldn’t. Such is life.
The good news is, there are ways to stay safe, even if you manage to break down on a highway. And, informing yourself of these before the event is the best chance you have. Understandably, most of us prefer to ignore that this could happen. But ignorance isn’t bliss. Reading on is the best chance you have of coming out a highway breakdown unscathed.
Find a safe place
With a bit of luck, your car will give you some signs before giving up the ghost. Whatever you do, don’t ignore these warning signs. If you see warning lights or hear something strange, pull over at the next layby and look into the issue. It certainly isn’t worth risking the journey home! If you have a look and can’t get to the bottom of the problem, play it safe and call your breakdown company. Better that than ignore something which could be fatal for more than just your vehicle. Such companies are used to handling emergency situations and stand a better chance of getting to the bottom of things.
If you’re unlucky enough for your car to give up altogether, do everything possible to at least move it aside. If that means moving it up onto the verge at the side of the road, so be it. At least that way you won’t cause any accidents.
Act with speed
The faster you act in an emergency, the less risk there is to you, or those around you. As soon as you’ve managed to find a safe place, you need to set about getting yourself back on the road. This is especially crucial if you were unable to reach a layby. For one, you should always have a set of tools in your car, like those offered by CIT Solutions. Research what type of thing you need for a breakdown, then visit our website or others like them to stock up. If your tools aren’t any help to you, act fast to contact a breakdown company who can come to the rescue. If you’re working with limited space, it may be worth jumping straight to this step. DIY is all well and good when you have space to play with, but it’s hardly practical at the side of a busy road.
Make yourself visible
Even if you have a breakdown service on the way to you, you may be in for a hefty wait. If night falls during that time, or if it’s dark already, do what you can to make yourself visible. If other cars can see you, there’s less chance of them hitting you. Turn on your car lights, and keep a hi-vis in your boot for occasions like these!