Once a new driver has secured their first time car insurance and set off to explore the roads unsupervised, they usually feel liberated and can’t wait to take advantage of their new ability.

However, no matter how well a driver may look after their vehicle, many motorists find that disaster can strike when something goes wrong with their car and it breaks down. This can cause panic and anxiety in even the most experienced of drivers, so it is important that all motorists remember how to remain safe in the event of a breakdown.

What to do in a breakdown

Although a motorist may find it difficult to reason properly when they can feel their vehicle coming to a stop, it is vital that they think of other road users and, if possible, move their car off the road. If necessary, the driver may also need to turn on their hazard lights to warn other motorists of any obstruction.

If the car is at the side of a road, the driver should place a warning triangle at least 45 metres behind the vehicle, although they should always be very careful of traffic when they are placing or retrieving a triangle. It is also important to note that warning triangles should never be used on motorways.

If it is dark, or visibility is restricted, motorists should keep their side lights on if possible, and should not stand between the broken down vehicle and other traffic or obstruct other road users from seeing the vehicle’s lights.

Motorists can help other road users to see them by wearing light coloured clothes during day time, and reflective clothing in darker conditions.

Breaking down on a motorway

When a motorist suspects that there is a problem with their vehicle while they are driving on a motorway they should leave the road via the next slip road or rest area, however, in some cases this isn’t possible and the car comes to a halt before there is a safe place to exit.

Under these circumstances, the driver should pull over onto the hard shoulder as far to the left side as possible, remembering to point the car wheels to the left. If possible, it is best to stop near an emergency telephone.

All car occupants should leave the vehicle by a left hand door, and any animals must be left inside the car, unless it is an emergency when they should be kept under strict control on the verge.

Neither the driver nor any passengers should put their lives at risk by attempting to make any repairs to the vehicle, and the driver should give their details to the Highways Agency or the police who can be contacted free of charge through an emergency telephone by the side of the motorway.

When car occupants are waiting for help to arrive, they should move well away from the motorway and hard shoulder so they can remain safe from fast moving traffic.

Breakdown cover and young driver car insurance from insurethebox

The breakdown service provided by insurethebox offers drivers peace of mind for wherever they choose to drive in the UK. If a motorist has a breakdown more than one mile away from their home, a mechanic will attend to their car as soon as possible, and if it cannot be repaired on the roadside, they will take it to the nearest suitable repairer.

Find out more about first time car insurance with insurethebox by clicking Get a Quote now.