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I am sure many of us know the feeling when you are happily driving along and suddenly your vehicle starts to make odd noises or flash warnings at you.

This happened to me a few weeks ago whilst I was driving on the M62 over Saddleworth Moor.

My engine was overheating, and I had a leak to the engine coolant of my car, an experience which made me realise how important it is to be prepared for a vehicle breakdown, because I was not!

As a result of this event, I have put together some top tips for helping you be prepared if your vehicle breaks down. They may seem like common sense, but they are very easy to forget if you travel frequently.

  • Make sure you are carrying weather appropriate clothing and equipment in your vehicle, such as coats in cold weather, umbrella in wet weather or suncream and water in hot weather could help if you find yourself unexpectedly waiting for a recovery truck outside
  • Try and have a good percentage of phone battery when you travel or a charging cable / power bank in your vehicle – A low battery almost caught me out!
  • Ensure you have your breakdown cover details and the number for National Highways saved in your phone. It makes it so much easier if you already know who you are covered with and any relevant policy numbers. National Highways can be called on 0300 123 5000 if you breakdown on a motorway.
  • Check if your vehicle has a warning triangle or high visibility vests as these could come in handy. A warning triangle should be placed on the road at least 45 meters (147 feet) behind your broken-down vehicle if it is safe to place it, but do not use these on a motorway
  • If it is safe for you to do so, exit your vehicle and keep well away from moving traffic. If you are unable to exit your vehicle, have stopped in a live traffic lane or feel your life is in danger you should keep your seatbelt on, hazard lights on and call 999 immediately or press the SOS button in your vehicle if it has one.

Taking a few moments to prepare before your journeys could help you out should the worst happen to your vehicle. Don’t get caught out.

You can also familiarise yourself with the breakdown guidance contained within The Highway Code and from National Highways.