What to do in the event your car breaks down or you are involved in an accident

by Lorraine Williamson
car breaks down or accident

With heavy snow in the north of Spain, there is more chance of road accidents. If your car breaks down, or you have an accident, you and any passengers must put on a reflective jacket. This is required to be in your car. Then put on your hazard lights, and place a warning triangle on the road. In most cases, only one will be required and should be placed 50m behind the vehicle but able to be seen from 100m behind.

However, in some cases (such as on a 2-way road, you might have to place one sign in front and one behind your car. Both should be 50m behind as long as they can be seen from 100m. On a road with only one lane, or 3 lanes and over, only one triangle is necessary at the back placed at 50m but able to be seen from 100m. If your vehicle is just around a bend after the brow of a hill, you may need to place the triangle further away to give more notice.

Contact the breakdown recovery service

You should then contact an official breakdown recovery vehicle (Grua). The information on this should be with your insurance documents.

Vehicle accident

In the event of an accident involving another vehicle, if there are no serious injuries or death, and the vehicle can be driven, you must move it to a safe location and not obstruct traffic. However, prior to this, it is a good idea to take photographs of the accident, the immediate area, and damage.

Then you may move the vehicle. If you do not do this, it is considered a serious offence if you do not have a justifiable reason. You must also put on the high-viz vest (which is compulsory to carry). Then, once you have moved the vehicle if able to do so, you must position the warning triangle signs.

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain

Any passengers in the cars should move to a safe area. If possible, on a pavement or behind a barrier. Under no circumstances should they remain on the road. If there are minor injuries, you should use the first aid kit you are required to carry.

If the vehicles have been moved and there are no injuries and one party has confirmed they are at fault, then all that needs to be done, is to exchange details and complete the accident report form for your insurance company.

Contact the police

However, if the cars cannot be moved, then you must contact your Grua (vehicle recovery service). If there are injuries or disputes over responsibility, then you should contact the police by calling 112.

Warning triangle

Vehicle warning of breakdown or accident triangle sign – DGT wants to replace it with an alternative. The reason for this is that the triangles must be physically placed a distance from the vehicle. It is at this point; the driver is most vulnerable. Therefore, they are proposing a highly visible lighting device that would be placed on the highest, most visible point of the vehicle. Currently, in addition to hazard lights and the triangles, it is only a recommendation that drivers use a flashing light beacon.

To help prevent accidents, you must ensure the maintenance of your vehicle.

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