breakdowns - are you prepared?
a breakdown can happen to anyone at any time. if it happens to you, it's as well to be prepared.
What To Carry In Your Car
A fully charged mobile phone. Once a 'nice to have status symbol' which has now become an essential part of modern life for most people.
An up-to-date map or Sat Nav. This will help you identify your location to the recovery centre. Most recovery organisations will ask their members to pick out any landmarks to help the operator reach them faster.
Warm clothing and Wellington boots. Prepare yourself in case you get stranded in the snow and need to walk to reach a phone.
A shovel. If setting out in heavy snow, or when it is forecast, it makes sense to carry a shovel in the boot just in case you run into a drift.
Chocolate and a warm drink. If going on a long journey in bad weather, it is also advisable to take supplies of food and drink. You never know what difficulties you may run into.
A torch with working batteries. If it is dark when you break down you may need to get out of the car to see what the problem is. Motoring organisations will always try to identify the cause of the breakdown when the member calls to ensure the operator arrives with any special equipment needed, and the appropriate recovery vehicle.
A first aid kit. If you are involved in a minor accident, or even see another collision on the roads, it is always best to be prepared.
A set of jump leads. The cold weather puts an additional strain on the battery, which can often be remedied with the help of another motorist.
A spare wheel. Check your tyre is in good condition, with an adequate tread and tyre pressure.
In severe weather conditions emergencies may arise where motorists have to venture out onto the roads. In these situations, drivers should:
Clear the windows and mirrors fully of any snow before setting off. Drivers who only clear a small area are not only breaking the law but present a danger to themselves and others on the road by not having clear all round vision. Sections 30 and 34 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 state that 'Windscreens and windows MUST be free from obstruction to vision, and MUST be kept clean'.
Always try to tell someone what time you are travelling and when you expect to arrive. This will alert them should you encounter any difficulties.
Keep a close eye on your precise location. This will help the recovery services find you if you break down.
If you're unfortunate enough to break down in severe weather conditions, it is important to keep yourself safe and warm. If possible, drivers should also try to stay with their cars, as abandoned vehicles can cause problems for rescue organisations and snow ploughs trying to reach them.