Wednesday, December 01, 2021

How To Keep Yourself and Your Family Safe During A Car Breakdown




Breaking down is never fun. It’s even less fun when you have young children in the back of the car who are panicked, restless and want to go home.
So what are some simple tips to bear in mind when you break down with your kids in the back? Keep reading to find out more.
Stay calm
Although this is easier said than done, remaining calm is important to keep yourself and your children from panicking so that you can focus on addressing the situation.
If you need to steady yourself, take a deep breath, right down to your diaphragm. Breathe in from your nose and out through your mouth. You can do this for five minutes to help calm your mind. 
Slowly and calmly explain to your kids that the car has broken down and that you need them to listen to you. If they have any questions, answer them in a simple, matter-of-fact manner so that they can understand the situation.
Find a safe place
Ideally, if you were to break down, it would happen off the road. However, if that’s not how it happens, then you should try to move your car into a safe place. If on a quieter road, try to pull up to the side, being aware of any slopes or verges. If you’re on the motorway, then pull onto the hard shoulder.
Aim for the far left of the hard shoulder, to keep away from moving traffic, and make sure that you turn your steering wheel as far to the left as you can to prevent further damage.
Also remember to put on your hazard lights to inform other drivers of your breakdown.
Get out of the car
It is recommended that you leave your vehicle if you break down on the hard shoulder. However, if broken down in the middle of the motorway, you should only leave the car if it is safe to do so.
Use the doors closest to the hard shoulder when exiting the car and place the reflective warning triangle that all cars must carry around 45 metres behind your vehicle. Then, wait behind the barrier. 
If possible, you should move up the bank of the motorway. If your children are younger, get out their pram to make sure that they do not run towards the busy roads. 
Clearly state to the kids before you leave that they must listen to you as it’s dangerous. If you have a reflective jacket or bright clothing then wear this to ensure that drivers can see you. 
Getting help
Advice depends on where you break down. If you break down on the hard shoulder of a motorway, then call your breakdown service. If it happens in the middle of the motorway, however, then you should call emergency services immediately. 
For breakdown on smart motorways, use the emergency phone services once at a safe refuge area, such as a service station, or at the next junction.
If you cannot reach a refuge area, then call emergency services immediately. 
Hopefully these simple tips can help you the next time that you break down. It is always worth keeping an emergency kit in your car, with a high-visibility jacket, a first-aid kit and a torch.


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