No matter how carefully we drive, vehicle breakdowns are an often and unavoidable part of being a motorist. With the days getting shorter in winter, it’s important to prepare for every eventuality when setting off on a journey.
If you find yourself at the side of the road with a car problem, firstly ensure that you put on your hazard lights to alert other incoming drivers, exit the vehicle and get to a safe place, then call your breakdown cover company to await recovery.
To keep you and your family safe in the event of a breakdown at night, motoring experts CarMoney suggest keeping the following items in your car:
1. A torch with spare batteries
It’s not always a given that a car breakdown will occur in a well-lit part of the carriageway. Always keep a torch in your glove box or boot in case of emergency situations. Opt for a high quality LED torch with weather-resistant properties; a wind-up torch is a failsafe option but otherwise, a spare pack of batteries should be kept with it.
2. Portable phone charger
Another essential in your car emergency kit is a portable phone charger or power bank. This will ensure that if you’re caught out with a low battery, you can call for help and let people know where you are. Be sure to keep this power bank fully charged and stored out of direct sunlight.
3. Flourescent hi-vis jacket
Visibility is paramount with nighttime vehicle breakdowns, so putting on a fluorescent hi-vis jacket with reflective details will ensure that you are seen by other drivers whilst waiting outside of the car.
4. Warm blanket
Dark nights come with lower temperatures and you could be potentially waiting over an hour for recovery assistance. Having blankets and a spare warm, waterproof jacket will help to keep the chill off whilst you wait. Hats and gloves are also advised in the colder months.
5. Reflective warning triangle
According to the Highway Code, a reflective warning triangle should be placed on the road (when it is safe to do so) at least 45 metres behind your broken down car if you’re on a dual carriageway. This will warn oncoming drivers that there is an upcoming hazard or obstruction and give them time to switch lanes. This teamed with hazard lights and a hi-vis jacket will increase the visibility and safety of you and the vehicle.
Andrew Marshall, Vehicle Manager at CarMoney says, ‘It can be easy to panic if your car breaks down, no matter the time of day. However, there is an added danger if it happens outside of daylight hours due to reduced visibility and colder temperatures. By having a phone charger and fluorescent hi-vis jacket in the car, you will be able to call your breakdown assistance company outside of the vehicle whilst remaining visible to passing motorists, which is of vital safety importance in the dark. It is also a good idea to ensure you have your breakdown assistance company details saved on your phone or documentation in the glovebox before you embark on your journey for that extra peace of mind.’
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Posted 18/11/2021 Back to Blog