Two steps you should take to ensure you are prepared for a breakdown

Posted on: 4 January 2018

Vehicles can break down for any number of reasons. As such, it's important to make sure that you are prepared for this type of situation. Here are two ways to do this.

Keep tools for changing a tyre in your car

If one of the tyres on your vehicle goes flat during a road journey and you don't have the tools you need to replace it, you could find yourself stranded on the side of the road for hours on end whilst you wait for someone to help you.

As such, it is absolutely vital to ensure that you have all of the things you will need to perform this task.

In addition to the bare essentials (that is, the spare tyre, the lug wrench and the jack), you should also keep a flashlight and a set of new batteries in your boot (so that you will still be able to see and change the tyre if the puncture occurs late at night), as well as a pair of thick gloves (to enable you to retain a firm grip on the lug wrench and allow you to fully tighten the wheel nuts without hurting your fingers).

You should also keep a couple of wheel chocks in your car (to stop the vehicle from rolling forwards or backwards when it is elevated by the jack).

Pack a breakdown kit

If your car stops functioning and you are unable to address the cause of the breakdown yourself, you will need to contact a towing company to come and collect your vehicle.

If the breakdown occurs during a period of bad weather or in a very rural, isolated area, it may take quite some time for the tow truck to reach you. As such, it is important to have a breakdown kit, filled with items that will keep you safe during this waiting period.

Your kit should include two reflective triangles; when placed at the front and rear sections of your vehicle, these will help to make your car visible to other road users. This will reduce the chances of someone accidentally crashing into it.

Your kit should also have some bottled water (to prevent dehydration), a foil blanket (to keep you warm and thus prevent hypothermia) and a high-visibility jacket (to ensure that drivers can see and avoid running you over if you have to get out of your car).

Finally, the kit should have a basic first-aid kit, with antibacterial wipes, clean bandages and scissors. This may be of use if your breakdown is caused by you being involved in a road accident which leaves you with an injury.