Most car breakdowns are unexpected. The thought of breaking down on your way to Leavers may cause you to break out in a nervous sweat. But sometimes these things happen and the best you can do is make sure you’re prepared.

If you do find yourself in a situation where you have broken down, keep calm and follow these simple steps:

1. Pull over

If you can, find a safe place to pull over – off the road or in the emergency breakdown lane. Try to keep off the central median strip.

2. Hazard lights on

Turn on your hazard lights. Raising your bonnet and turning on your parking lights is a good idea too if it’s dark or visibility is poor.

3. Exit your car

Always check for traffic before exiting your car, and make sure to close your car door behind you. If it’s safe to do so, exit your car from the side that is facing away from the traffic.

4. Flat Tyre

Don’t attempt to change a tyre unless it’s safe. Try to drive to a flat area, away from traffic before changing a tyre.

5. Stand clear

Stand clear of the road and be aware of your surroundings. Try to stand behind a safety barrier if there is one.  Avoid crossing the road at all times.

6. Stay inside

If it’s not safe to exit your car, skip steps three and four. Stay inside with your seatbelt on. Move to the passenger seat if possible.

7. Call for help

Call a roadside assistance provider or tow company on your mobile. In a scenario where you don’t have your mobile available or can’t get reception, look for a roadside emergency phone located along the emergency breakdown lane.

If you don’t have roadside assistance, make sure you join RAC’s free2go before you leave to get yourself covered. RAC provides you with free Standard Roadside Assistance for the first year you get your licence.

8. Stay calm

As long as you’re safe, that’s all that matters. Remember help may take longer to arrive if you are on a country road.

9. Wait it out

Wait in your safe place for help to arrive and then follow their instructions.

To minimise your chances of breaking down make sure you have prepared ahead with our Leavers checklist.