Break Down Survival (Don’t Panic!)

There have been a few stories in the news, papers and on social media lately about people who break down on a motorway and their car is ploughed into by a passing lorry or other car. One woman was killed as she stood near her broken down vehicle as a Mercedes ploughed into it, another woman was lucky enough to get her family out and far away to safety as they watched a wagon carrying cars send their car flying towards them while shedding two of the cars it was carrying.

So it got us thinking about safety when you break down and being prepared for what ever might happen on your next journey, whether you’re going ten miles locally or travelling across the country.Ring first aid kit sold at Oak Road

Ring First Aid Kit – sold at Oak Road branches

Of course, you won’t know you’re going to break down; cars can be fickle things. BUT you CAN do your best to keep your car in its best condition; service it when required, check your oil and water levels, keep your tyres at the right pressure and make sure they have enough tread depth.  Even with doing all of this you can’t know when a tyre might blow or your alternator will give up ghost or you’ll just hear an ominous thunk, so at least be prepared.

🚗 Keep a Safety Kit in your car which should contain the following: at least one blanket, a warning triangle, a fire extinguisher, a bottle of water, spare shoes (that you could a walk a ways in), a first aid kit and a torch. A waterproof Hi-Viz vest would be beneficial, especially in the winter when it gets dark so quickly or the weather might not be favourable, and also an umberella.

🚗 Going on a mammoth journey to somewhere you’ve not been before? Obviously check your oil, water and wiper fluid levels, but also check out an actual map.  Yes SatNav will get you there but it’s always good to have an idea of where you’ll be going, what towns or cities you’ll be passing and what roads you’ll be travelling on. All good info should you break down and need to tell someone where you are.

🚗🚗If the unthinkable happens, GET OUT OF YOUR CAR AND GET TO SAFETY.  We don’t mean get out and stand around your car; we mean move away, up a bank, preferably with the car in front of you so if it should get rammed it’s not going to come towards your safe space.  EVEN IF IT’S RAINING – get out. So you might get wet….it’s better than getting dead.🚗🚗

🚗 As you come to a stop put your hazards on, apply the handbrake and turn your wheels into the curb (if your handbrake fails or the car gets knocked it should roll away from the traffic, and be less likely to cause further chaos).

🚗 If you’re on a country lane rather than a motorway or dual carriageway the same rules apply – get your warning triangle out, hazards on, get out of the car. If you stop on a curve, and it’s safe to do so (and you have the strength!) try to push the car onto a straight where it’s more likely to be seen and less likely to be a surprise to anyone coming around the bend.

Not sure where to put your triangle?  The Highways Code can help with that

🚗 In this technological world, keep a phone charger in your car – a charged phone could save your life.  Keep the number of your breakdown service in your phone, not just in the glove box – the time it could take to rifle through the contents of your glove box to find a number could be the difference between life and death. Take a photo of your insurance documents if they’re not in the car so you have your policy number to hand if required.

It’s helpful if the recovery team can find you quickly but we know that the stress and worry of a break down could mean it’s unlikely you’ll have noticed the mile-marker or the last exit you spotted.  Where possible use GPS on your phone or use your SatNav to work out where you are. This is especially helpful if it’s dark.

We hope you’ll never have to use this information and you’ll have safe and happy journeys all over the place.  But to be on the safe side – we sell first aid kits, warning triangles, jumper cables, torches and screen wash and much more so pop into an Oak Road branch and stock up on your Safety Kit before your next mammoth road trip 🚗

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