10 tips for surviving a breakdown


In the event of a breakdown, call: 1800 44 88 88

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Our breakdown service is open 24 hours a day

More than twice as many Irish men than Irish women can change a tyre!

As the cold and wet nights drag into February, leaving many of us feeling that Spring time is more a hope than a season, one of the worst places to find yourself on a dark evening is on the road, with your car broken down not knowing what to do or who to call for help.

In Ireland, almost half of females (48%) would call their partner for help in the unlucky event of a breakdown, but only one fifth of males would do the same. Breakdown Rescue cover is offered as standard with all comprehensive car insurance policies from Aviva who have commissioned this research to mark their current special offer on Car Insurance1

The research asked men and women how they would perform some basic checks and fixes on their cars. The women came up short across all of the tasks. Asked if they knew how to check the engine oil level, 88% of males said yes compared to 62% of females.

Almost all males surveyed, (92%) said they could repair a flat or damaged tyre compared to just 44% of female participants.  It seems men yield a superior understanding of the car electrics too with 83% of them able to recognise a flat battery and jump start the car compared to only 41% of women.

Staying cool under pressure, 76% of men can check the car coolant level compared to only one third of women at 33% and embarrassingly for all concerned, almost one quarter (23%) of Irish motorists - male and female have run out of petrol on the roads at some stage in their driving history.

"A breakdown can be stressful at any time but it can be particularly uncomfortable during the dark, cold and wet months of the year. But  it doesn’t need to be such a taxing experience," says Cathy Summers, Marketing Manager at Aviva, adding, "Our research shows that while the majority of Irish motorists (77%) are aware of what breakdown assistance they are covered for, less than two thirds (62%) actually know the number to call to avail of this assistance. Aviva Car Insurance has devised a list of 10 tips to help you navigate the best way back on the road in the event of a breakdown."

Aviva Car Insurance offers 10 tips for surviving a breakdown

  1. Check your car insurance policy to make sure you’re covered in the unlucky event of a breakdown. Breakdown Rescue cover comes as standard with all car insurance policies from Aviva;
  2. In the event of a breakdown, get your vehicle off the road where possible. Indicate and pull in slowly. The hard shoulder is for emergency use only, do not pull into the hard shoulder if the vehicle can be safely navigated to another location i.e. a petrol station;
  3. Keep the vehicle lights on and use the hazard lights to alert oncoming traffic to the presence of your vehicle especially if it is causing an obstruction;
  4. Motorists should carry a triangle hazard or warning sign in the vehicle. When it is safe to do so, motorists should place this sign between 5 – 10 metres from the rear of the vehicle alerting oncoming motorists to the presence of your vehicle;
  5. Have a mobile phone with you when you travel and ensure you keep the number of your breakdown assistance service in your car or phone so that you may contact them easily;
  6. If you need to exit the vehicle, do not exit the vehicle on the driver or traffic-adjacent side of the vehicle, exit the vehicle on the left hand side and ensure all passengers do the same.  Remember to check in the rear view and wing mirrors in advance of opening the car door;
  7. Ensure all of your cars equipment is in working order (spare wheel, jack, wheel brace) and check the pressure in your tyres regularly to avoid flat tyres or punctures;
  8. Carry a set of jump-leads in your car and a spare petrol canister which you can fill in the event of running out of petrol;
  9. It is advisable to travel with a bottle of drinking water and a blanket in case of extreme cold
  10. Carry a high visibility jacket in the vehicle 

Aviva Direct Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Car Insurance is underwritten by Aviva Insurance Limited.

For media queries please contact:

Iris Cribbin, FleishmanHillard; +353 1 618 8439 / +353 87 4142881 or Iris.Cribbin@fleishmaneurope.com

Maria McGrath, FleishmanHillard, +535 1 618 8420 / +353 86 1653055 or Maria.McGrath@fleishmaneurope.com

Notes for the editor

  • More information and advice is available online at www.aviva.ie
  • Aviva’s breakdown rescue number for customers is:
    • 1800 44 88 88 - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Research commissioned by Aviva Direct Ireland Limited and completed in January 2014. The research was carried out with a nationally representative panel of the Irish population 18+ years. There were a total of 1,309 participants in the survey, which was carried out through Empathy Research.

About Aviva Direct Ireland Limited

Aviva Direct Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Car Insurance is underwritten by Aviva Insurance Limited

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