Follow these tips from Liberty Insurance on what to do if your car breaks down

What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down

Follow these tips from Liberty Insurance on what to do if your car breaks down
Follow these tips from Liberty Insurance on what to do if your car breaks down

In the Real World, things don’t always go to plan. Liberty Insurance get that, that’s why they’re here to help when things get real. In the first of their Real World Blog series, we look at the measures you need to take in the unfortunate event of a car breakdown.

Most drivers don’t expect a breakdown, but the essential thing to bear in mind in these situations, is to stay safe. Be sure to contact your breakdown service provider right away.

Here are a few simple tips to keep you, your passengers and other road users safe if your car breaks down.

Motorways & Dual Carriageways

By far the trickiest place to suffer a car breakdown is on a motorway or dual carriageway, particularly if you are in the outside or overtaking lane when the issue happens. The RSA has a list of recommendations which we’ve listed below:

  1. If you can, pull into the hard shoulder as soon as possible. Put your hazard lights and side lights on and then point your front wheels away from the road.
  2. If you have a visibility vest, wear it. Visibility vests are relatively cheap and don’t take up much storage space so it’s a good idea to get a few and leave them in the car.
  3. Exit your vehicle on the left hand side, away from the traffic on the road. Be safe and stay away from the fast moving cars on the other side! Make your way up the embankment and if there is a barrier, climb over it if possible. You and your passengers should stay well away from the hard shoulder.
  4. Don’t attempt to make any repairs on the car, no matter how small they seem to be. Plenty of people have warning triangles in their car, BUT you should not attempt to place this behind your car on the motorway. There will be cars speeding by and it’s risky to even attempt it.
  5. Call the local authorities. If you do this from your mobile phone, they will need to know your location. If you use one of the roadside SOS phones on the motorway network, they will automatically know your location. Next contact your breakdown service.
  6. If the repair services can get you back up and running there and then, that’s great but be very careful when it comes to re-joining the motorway. You’ll need to build up your speed on the hard shoulder before merging into traffic. Be aware that other vehicles may have stopped on the hard shoulder.
  7. If for some reason you are unable to follow the above advice, you should stay in your vehicle with your safety belt securely fastened and switch on your hazard lights. Then, as above, call 999 and wait for assistance. You should also contact your breakdown service provider to let them know.
what to do if your car breaks down
If you have a breakdown on a rural road, pull into the left as far as you can

National, Secondary & Minor roads

If you break down on any road smaller than a motorway, you’ll need to do things a little differently to make sure you remain safe throughout. Again, we’ve taken the advice of the RSA to give you the best information on how to handle the situation.

  1. If you can, pull over to a safe place. Some national roads have a hard shoulder, but if there isn’t one, pull over as far left as you can.
  2. Turn on your hazard lights and if the light is poor or visibility is low, turn on your side lights also.
  3. Although the cars will be passing a little slower than those on the motorway, you should still only get out of your car on the left hand side of the road.
  4. Put on your high visibility vest and place your Red Warning Triangle 50 metres behind your car to alert oncoming traffic.
  5. In contrast to actions on the motorway, no matter where on the road you breakdown, be it in the middle of the road in town or out on a narrow country road, you should get back in your car once you’ve put out your triangle. That’s the safest place to be.
  6. Once in your car, ring the Gardaí for assistance and then call your breakdown service provider to let them know.
what to do if your car breaks down
It's a good idea to use a Red Warning Triangle to alert other drivers

Even experienced drivers might not know the above protocols for what to do if you breakdown, but now that you’ve familiarised yourself with them, you’re ready for any breakdown.

All Liberty car insurance policies come with 24/7 breakdown assistance with Home Start as standard and it won’t affect your no claims bonus.

Disclosure: This article has been provided by Liberty Insurance and is paid for content.


Liberty Insurance research on car and home emergencies

New Research Into Home & Car Emergencies In Ireland

New research from Liberty Insurance on how we react to home and car emergencies
New research from Liberty Insurance on how we react to home and car emergencies

Liberty Insurance has just launched their ‘Ready for the Real World’ campaign, designed to educate consumers on the importance of preparing for home and car emergencies, and what to do in these scenarios. In advance of the campaign launch, Red C Research conducted a survey on their behalf to find out more about how Irish people are affected by emergencies.

Problems on the road

Conducted among a sample of approximately 500 Irish adults, the research found that more than half of all drivers have continued to drive while a warning light was displayed on their dashboard, with 1 in 10 continuing to drive for over a week before addressing the issue.

22 percent of drivers don’t feel capable of pumping air into their tyres, 41 percent are not confident that they can change a tyre or jump start a battery, and half do not feel confident about changing oil or water. More than 1 in 10 drivers do not feel capable of doing any of these tasks alone.

Overall, when performing these tasks, the research showed women to be less confident than men. Fewer than two in three women aren’t confident changing a tyre, jump starting a battery (64%) or changing water/oil (67%).

In general, it would be good for both new and experienced drivers to learn a few of the basics, like changing tyres, for those car emergencies. However, Liberty Insurance offers 24-hour breakdown assist and home start as standard to all their car insurance customers, so whether you break down in your driveway or on a main road, Liberty Insurance will be there.

Responding to emergencies

The ‘Ready for the Real World’ research shows that a spouse or partner is first point of call for one in three in a home emergency and three in ten in a car emergency. Fewer than one in four would call a tradesperson first in a home emergency.

So what are the most common home emergencies? Interestingly, a blocked drain or toilet is the most common home emergency and a quarter have experienced a burst pipe or roof damage.

Just over 1 in 10 say they do not have the emergency number for their home insurer.

Another surprising fact to come out of the research was that 3 in 10 believe calling their breakdown assistance emergency number would affect their no claims bonus, with younger drivers a lot more likely to believe this.

Of course, this is not actually the case for Liberty Insurance customers. If you need breakdown assistance, they will be there, and it won’t affect your no claims bonus at all. This is the same for their emergency home repair service.

Liberty Insurance Infographic
70% of drivers have experienced a breakdown according to new research from Liberty Insurance

Commenting on the research, Deirdre Ashe, Director of Customer & Markets at Liberty Insurance, said:

“At Liberty Insurance we understand that not everything goes to plan and we’re here to help in those situations. Our research shows that Irish drivers and home insurance owners are prone to emergencies. It also makes clear that we need to be a lot more prepared for these situations, both on the road and at home, and know what to do and who to talk to.”

“For a start, we need to dispel the idea that calling an emergency assistance number will affect someone’s no claim bonus. It won’t. If a driver has been in an accident or has a technical fault with their car, they need to get help immediately for their own safety, and for the safety of other drivers.“

Make sure you're Ready for the Real World with a car insurance policy with 24/7 breakdown assistance and a home insurance policy with emergency assistance.

Disclosure: This article has been provided by Liberty Insurance and is paid for content.


storm driving tips

Getting Around Safely After A Storm

The danger isn't always over when the winds die down. Learn how to drive home safely after a storm.

Driving immediately after a storm could be a bad idea. But there are times when you absolutely must get on the road. When that's the case, you need to take extra precaution and keep in mind some post-storm driving safety procedures to ensure that you and your family return home safe and sound.

Pack An Emergency Kit

Be prepared for the worst, including the possibility of being stranded on the road. Put a car emergency kit in the boot that includes extras like flashlight, first aid kit, water, warm clothes and blankets.

Drive With Extreme Caution

Road conditions after a damaging storm are wildly unpredictable. Proceed slowly and carefully to avoid driving over storm-blown debris like tree branches, metal, or broken glass that could damage your vehicle. Also be aware of dangers above like low-hanging branches, damaged bridges, and dangling power lines.

Because roads and cars could be damaged, more people are possibly walking on roads, so watch out for pedestrians. Traffic lights may also be out, so take extra precautions at crossroads, obey all road signs, and always give the right-of-way to emergency vehicles.

Don't Drive Through Floodwaters

Storm surges and torrential rains from a severe storm can cause serious flooding. Never drive through a road with standing or rushing water, even if it doesn't look that deep. The water depth can be deceiving, and it’s extremely dangerous at even the shallowest of depths:

6 inches of water can cause a vehicle to lose control or stall

1 foot of water will float many vehicles

2 feet of rushing water will carry away most cars, trucks, and SUVs

Instead, obey all road closure signs and find alternative routes to your destination if you come upon any signs of flooding.

Stay Away From Downed Power Lines

Under no circumstances should you drive over downed power lines. It's impossible to tell if a power line is electrified or not, even if you don't see sparks. While the rubber tyres of your car are technically electrical insulators, they're much too thin to protect you. And even if the downed wire isn't hot, the cables could get tangled on your tires or in your car's axle.

If an electrical wire does make contact with your vehicle, follow these safety rules:

Stay in the vehicle and call 911.

If you have to exit the vehicle for safety reasons, never touch the car and the ground at the same time, because the current will pass through your body and into the ground.

Instead, jump clear of the car in one hop.

Take small steps until you are at least 30 feet away from the car.

Tip: Downed power lines that are "dead" can become live again when power to the area is restored. So, if you see any downed power lines, stay away.

Stay Informed And Stay In Touch

Tune your car radio to local stations for weather updates and information on road conditions. If you get a signal, use your smartphone to check for emergency information. Send text messages to friends and relatives to stay informed and to update them on your location.

There could be a time when you can't avoid driving after a storm. But if you heed these safety tips and follow the rules of the road, you can get to your destination safely.

For total peace of mind, you should think about getting gadget insurance. With Car ’N Stuff from Liberty Insurance, you get affordable car insurance and renters cover, with access to travel and gadget insurance.

Disclosure: This article has been provided by Liberty Insurance, a car insurance provider in Ireland, and is paid for content.


Two-Thirds of New Drivers Not Ready For Real Road

Two Thirds Of New Drivers Are Not Ready For The Road

Research carried out by Liberty shows that 61 per cent of new drivers who have passed their practical driving test don't feel that they're adequately prepared for life on the road.

38 per cent, or two out of every five, feel that they are fully prepared.

Half of all drivers under the age of 30 feel that they're not confident enough when performing tricky manoeuvres, such as parallel parking or tackling big roundabouts with multiple exits. Once again, two out of every five drivers surveyed say that they feel entirely confident in such situations.

A whopping 70 per cent of drivers feel that Irish roads are more hazardous now than they were a decade ago (something which is most certainly not borne out by accident statistics). That number is higher among female drivers (81 per cent) than male drivers, and it's a view held more by those aged over 55, and those living in Connacht and/or Ulster.

Among Irish drivers that lack confidence on the road, feelings of nervousness have been experienced by 60 per cent when behind the wheel, while almost half (49 per cent) have experienced anxiety. 19 per cent report feelings of panic and 18 per cent a sense of fear.

Overall, women drivers are less confident than their male counterparts; under 30 drivers are the least confident of all age groups; and the country's least confident drivers are from Connacht/Ulster.

Commenting, Deirdre Ashe, Director of Personal Lines at Liberty Insurance, said: "The results of this survey show that as a country, we currently lack confidence in our driving abilities and feel increasingly unsafe on our roads."

"In many ways, this isn't entirely surprising. Our roads are busier than ever before, with more distractions for drivers, like smartphones. Adding to the danger is the huge number of uninsured private vehicles on Irish roads, estimated by the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) to be over 151,000."

"In light of these findings, we all as drivers have a duty in taking greater personal responsibility for our actions on the road. By extension, road safety education is now more important than ever. For example, if drivers are particularly nervous entering roundabouts or parallel parking, they should be looking to address and improve on this, like taking advanced driving lessons with IAM Road Smart Ireland. Further tips and advice are available on the Liberty Insurance Safety Centre as part of our 'Ready for the Real Road' initiative."

"Finally, since its foundation, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has led the way in raising standards on road safety and testing, and as a result we have seen significant improvements on our roads. In continuing down this path, there may be merit in incorporating some of these findings into the RSA's driving test curriculum and using it as an opportunity to develop new features within the driving test that will challenge learner drivers on the various issues cited in our research."

"In short, our findings demonstrate the importance of the ongoing collaboration between government and industry in the promotion of safer driving, particularly among younger drivers and in regional areas with less developed infrastructure."

Find out more about Liberty car insurance and home insurance.

Watch this Ready for the Real Road video from Liberty Insurance in which six drivers put their skills to the test to find out if they’re ready for the real road.

Disclosure: This article has been provided by Liberty Insurance and is paid for content.