12 things to remember when your car breaks down

So what do you do when your car breaks down?

Inevitably in our driving lives, as much as we pray it won’t happen, your car will probably breakdown. So what do you do?

“In the event of a breakdown forcing you to stop your car, it is critical to remain vigilant and follow basic safety procedures to ensure your safety,” urges 1st for Women Insurance.

1st for Women offers the following advice in the event of a breakdown forcing your car to stop:

  • Put on your hazard lights.
  • If possible, pull into the emergency lane or onto the shoulder of the road (as far left as possible).
  • Make sure that your car remains visible to the road.
  • If you haven’t managed to move your car to the shoulder of the road and you are worried it might be hit by another car, get out of your vehicle when it is safe to do so and walk carefully to the side of the road. Ideally, you should remain in your car with the doors locked.
  • Immediately call for professional emergency assistance. Most insurers offer emergency roadside assistance.
  • Make sure to give all the relevant details of your position so that you can be quickly and easily located by emergency professionals. Ensure that you stress the fact that your car has broken-down and that you are vulnerable.
  • If your car is safely out of traffic, wait inside your vehicle. Keep your windows closed and your doors locked.
  • Do not get out of your vehicle or flag down other motorists.
  • Do not attempt any repairs.
  • Do not open the bonnet of your car as this will block your view and you won’t be able to see if anyone approaches your vehicle.
  • Watch and wait for professional emergency assistance.
  • Do not accept help from anyone aside from a uniformed police officer, metro officer or other emergency personnel. Most major highways and roads are patrolled regularly.

These are dangerous times and a breakdown is more than just an inconvenience, it can be life-threatening. “Always ensure that your car is properly maintained and that you have enough petrol in your tank to reduce the risk of a breakdown or running out of fuel,” advises Farrell.

Farrell concludes: “Be prepared for any eventuality. Memorise, or carry with you, the roadside assistance numbers of your insurance provider and the metro police. Make sure that your cell phone is fully charged so that you are able to call for help.”