Advice in Case of a Breakdown During Return Operation

Estimated read time 4 min read

safety breakdown

The most atypical return operation in history is approaching, usually during the second half of August. The volume of trips will be much lower than usual this year due to the context of prudence and ‘new normal’ posed by the coronavirus.

However, thousands of people will move from their second homes or vacation destinations to their homes. They prepare to return to the office or to adapt the home space from which they will telecommute by auto for trade.


Beyond the precautions that must be taken while driving and the revision that should have been made to the car before going on vacation to ensure its proper functioning. These types of periods are very favorable for breakdowns since long trips are added to very unfavorable environmental and traffic conditions for the vehicle.

In the event of a breakdown, the law says that triangles must be placed on the road to correctly signal the accident. It alerts vehicles to the presence of a damaged car on the road. According to the standard, the triangles must be placed, one or two depending on the type of road. So that they are each visible 50 meters away.

The action of placing the triangles, however, is dangerous. According to the Ministry of the Interior, it was during this action that 20% of the accidents on conventional roads occurred in 2018. These accidents in which four out of every 10 involved died.

Safety Before a Breakdown

It is important to maximize safety in the event of a breakdown and the need to get out of the car to carry out the actions indicated by law. In the first case, it must be taken into account that the triangles should be placed only when it is safe. Its placement implies walking along the shoulder for about 50 meters in each direction of the vehicle during an action that leaves the pedestrian with poor visibility in front of other drivers. 

According to the traffic regulations, the driver should only go out to put the triangles when the traffic and visibility conditions do not put him in danger.

Traffic Triangles

Summer is a particularly hard season for the car | Photo: Agencies

Once it has been decided to go out and place the triangles, and as always on the road, the mobile must be left out of the equation. In 98% of accidents in which the person responsible is the pedestrian, the cause is the use of mobile phones. During the placement of the triangles and waiting for the assistance services, it is important to concentrate on the road. One should not be distracted from what is happening around you.


What If I Have To Move?

In case of need to move on foot, according to the road safety law, the pedestrian must walk in the opposite direction to the traffic. Except when conditions are not safe on that side. On highways and expressways, it is prohibited pedestrians except when precisely fault, at which only the driver, not the other occupants of the car may leave.

During the journey, it is very important to be visible, so a brightly colored vest or garment is recommended during the day. At night, the approved reflective vest is mandatory because it allows drivers to see the pedestrian at 150 meters. Also, while walking on the road, be fully aware of traffic. In case of need to cross, you should choose the place where you have more visibility to wait for the best moment.

If a vehicle approaches while crossing, the best practice is to stop in the middle of the road, wait for it to pass, and continue. Finally, you have to avoid sudden changes of direction. People do not have turn signals and few people signal the action they are going to take with their hands. So in case of need, again, it must be ensured that the maneuver is safe.

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