We’ve seen it all happen on the road – a car breaks down right smack in the middle of highway, on the very first day of the work week. Like Monday couldn’t get any bluer. Instead of being the girl who’s calling her dad crying at her dead car in the middle of the road, here’s a short and simple guide to help you get through all the trouble of car breakdowns in Singapore.

  1. Be safe

When it comes to any aspect of driving, my approach has always been safety first. Better late than never, right? Before we get into anything else, you should find a safe place to stop. This means getting your vehicle to the side of the road if possible. If you’re on the expressway, you should head towards the road shoulder. Please try to keep as far left as possible. Once you’re at a safe spot, stop your vehicle and engage your handbrake.

DO NOT

  1. Panic and start swerving to the side of the road abruptly or without signalling. Your car may have broken down, but the normal rules of the road still apply.
  2. Stop abruptly in the middle of the road unless necessary. When you come to a sudden halt, vehicles behind and around you, may not have enough time to react, resulting in a collision.
  3. Stop at a place that may cause obstruction to other vehicles, if possible. Especially when your vehicle breaks down near or around the entrance or exit to an expressway, try not to stop at such choke points.
  1. Signal to others that your car has broken down

Now that you’ve stopped safely at the side of the road, it’s time to alert other drivers that you may be there for some time. For starters, let’s turn on our hazard lights. Once you have your blinker on, place your vehicle breakdown sign at an appropriate distance. On normal roads, the sign should be placed approximately 4 – 5 meters away from the broken down vehicle. On expressways, they should be placed at approximately 10 -15 ***meters away from your vehicle. If you do not have a breakdown triangle, you can also use a pail or box if you have one in your boot. Some drivers leave their boot open to signal that their vehicle is broken down as well.

DO NOT

  1. Exit your vehicle without checking your mirrors and ensuring it is safe to do so
  2. Stand behind your vehicle and try to wave other vehicles away
  3. Place your sign too far away, other vehicles may think someone may have accidentally left the sign there, and ignore the sign.
  4. Be so eager to place your sign, that you disregard your safety. If you feel it is too dangerous to place the sign at the distances measured, place it closer to you, always remember safety first.
  1. Call for help and wait

After placing your breakdown sign, you should wait behind Vehicle Impact Guards (VIGs) if you’re on an expressway. Do not assume that waiting in your car is the safest option. There have been cases where drivers have collided with broken down vehicles; this can result in injury or in more serious cases like death.  If you’re on  a road, stand on the pavement instead of on the road or sitting in the car.

Your vehicle now needs to be towed away to a workshop to be fixed. If you’re a member of AA Singapore, you can drop them a call, and they’ll advise you on how to proceed. If you’re on an expressway, you should call EMAS @ 1800-CALL-LTA (1800-2255-582). They will help to tow your vehicle from the expressway to the nearest carpark.

Otherwise, you’ll need to engage a tow truck to bring you to your preferred workshop, here are a few to help you out.

Cheong Towing Services – 9183 3558

Go! Towing & Transport Services – 8666 6060

Siong Motor (Towing & Workshop) – 6453 7188

Island Recovery Services – 9182 8211

If you can’t figure out which workshop you need to bring them to, here’s a list to help you get started. These workshops also provide towing services 24 hours a day

Carzin Garage – 6841 6043

833 Motorsports – 6457 7833

BH Auto Services – 9101 3232

Remember, no matter what happens keep yourself safe at all times.

For more information on owning a car, explore these car articles.

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).