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Even a well-maintained, regularly serviced vehicle can suffer a breakdown. Whether from an issue with one of its tyres or a mechanical gremlin, it’s always a good idea to be prepared in the event of an unforeseen stop on the side of the road – particularly during winter months. Here’s what you should consider packing for a rainy day.

Included within the asking price of many new car purchases and in many cases supplemented with a private arrangement the likes of which is offered by the AA, a roadside assistance package affords the driver of a vehicle the opportunity at any hour to call for help should they be forced to stop through a mechanical failure. Whether you elect to wait or are capable of roadside repair, here’s what to consider in terms of staying safe and warm.

 

Be Seen

Especially in winter months when the sun sets that much earlier, it’s imperative that you make yourself and your vehicle visible to fellow road users. This includes the switching on of the vehicle’s hazard lights, the placement of a reflective warning triangle some distance away from your position and ideally the donning of a high-visibility jacket or vest.

Be Prepared

The ability to shine a light on the problem has been made that much more efficient thanks to the latest advancements in LED technology. Even the smallest, easily stored head torch can provide sufficient light to make accessing any damage or, indeed, repair work that much easier.

It’s advisable to include a pair of gloves within even the most modest of tool kits, while there’s nothing worse than having to exit your vehicle in the middle of a rainstorm. Preferably incorporating its own degree of reflective material, a rain poncho can at least be worn over existing warm clothing, while allowing for free movement of your arms for tasks like manoeuvring a jack or spare wheel.

Keeping a small fire extinguisher in the boot of your car also adds peace of mind.

Be Heard

Even if your car breaks down in an area with a poor mobile phone signal, you must be able to maintain the battery charge in your phone. Should your car’s electrical system no longer be able to offer power to an incorporated USB port, many available external power bank solutions can help to keep both your phone, as well as any installed family tracking Apps online.

Know Your Car

A basic understanding of your car’s internals, as well as information like what type of tyre technology is fitted,can help you in the event of an emergency. Run-flat tyres, for example, are items that allow you to continue driving at a restricted speed to a place of safety rather than having to stop to fit a spare wheel. Other “quick fixes” that could come in handy include tyre sealant that can offer a temporary puncture repair option depending on the damage or even a small compressor that can reinflate a tyre to offer a degree of “make it home” assurance.

If it subsequently turns out that the cause of your breakdown was a faulty or expired battery, your nearest Willard stockist will be able to confirm this before offering a suitable replacement.

It should be noted that it’s always best to assess your surroundings before leaving your vehicle to inspect or repair the damage. Should you not feel safe, be sure to call for assistance as early as possible.