In the event of a breakdown – Part 3

In our last blog we looked at what to do if your car breaks down whilst you’re travelling on the motorway, but what should you do if you breakdown on a road that is not a motorway? This is a great question as in this instance the rules are slightly different, in this blog we’ll look at what steps you should take if you find yourself broken down on a normal road.

Survey the situation

Ask yourself whether it is safe to get out of the car? Is it safe to try to move the car off the road? Is the problem something you can easily fix yourself or do you need to call for help? If you feel that there is any risk of your car getting struck by another car then make sure that you carefully get all passengers out of the car and to safety, away from the road.

Use your warning triangle

If you have a warning triangle in your car then now is the time to use it! When it is safe to do so, place your warning triangle at a distance of about 45 metres (50 yards) behind your vehicle, make sure it is on the same side of the road.


If your car slows down rapidly and comes to stop in the middle of the road then you should switch on your hazard lights to warn other road users. If visibility is at all impaired or if it is dark outside then even if you manage to get your car to the side of the road you should leave your vehicle’s sidelights on to make sure that other drivers can clearly see your broken down vehicle. Make sure that no one is standing near the vehicle in a way that may obstruct its lights or prevent it from being seen by other vehicles.


Make sure that neither you nor any of your passengers are standing between your vehicle and oncoming traffic. If you have reflective jackets in the vehicle then make sure that you put them on so that you are clearly visible to other motorists.

Call for help

Once you’ve assessed the situation and made sure that you and your passengers are safe you should use your mobile phone to call the company that you have your breakdown cover with.

If you don’t have a mobile phone or if it is out of battery or doesn’t have signal then you will need to walk to the nearest payphone or ask a passerby to call for help.