Every motorist should plan for the day their vehicle breaks down. There is a lot that you can do to keep yourself, your passengers and your vehicle safe while you wait for emergency assistance. The golden rule is to remain calm, and of course, be prepared.
Follow these steps if you are in this unfortunate position.
1. Remain calm and breathe deeply.
2. Pull into the emergency lane. If the road does not have an emergency lane, try and move the car as far off the road as possible.
3. Pull up your handbrake, turn the steering wheel away from the road and switch on your hazard lights.
4. Make sure that your car doors are locked and your windows closed. Move any valuables out of sight.
5. If it is safe to do so, position a reflective triangle about six feet behind your car. By law you are required to carry at least one emergency triangle in your vehicle for this very purpose. If you have two triangles, position the second triangle about six metres in front of the vehicle to warn oncoming traffic that there is a hazard ahead.
6. Call your emergency roadside assistance. If you are not sure where you are, look for road signs and landmarks such as service stations and shopping centres. It goes without saying of course that you should make sure that your cell phone is fully charged at all times in case of emergencies. Download the AA Rescue app for motoring peace of mind.
7. Alert friends or family members as well and explain your location to them.
8. Stay in your car until help arrives and keep children or animals safely in the car with you. If you must get out of your car for some reason, climb out on the side that faces away from the flow of traffic.
What do you do if you
cannot move off the road?
If you cannot move your car off the road....put on your hazard lights and call for assistance.
Prevention is better than cure: try to avoid breakdowns
Reduce the risk of breakdowns and ensure your vehicle is always in tip-top operating condition. Service regularly according to manufacturer guidelines, which you will find in your owner’s manual, and ensure that your jack, tools and spare wheel are in the vehicle and in working order in case you need to change a tyre.
Did you know: community
support for N2 users
If you travel regularly on the N2 between Somerset West and Cape Town, join the Safe N2 Project’s WhatsApp group to inform other members of dangers, closures and breakdowns as well as request convoy travel partners.
While you cannot avoid breakdowns, you can make sure that you are ready for whatever lies ahead. Remember, forewarned is forearmed.
assistance from the AA
Apply online today for roadside assistance from the name you can trust