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Whit went wrong? Green Flag predict bank holiday breakdown misery

21 May 2014

  • 51,000 breakdowns predicted over the weekend
  • Around 10,300 flat batteries will delay the start of the weekend
  • There will be one puncture every minute on Britain’s roads

As drivers up and down the country prepare to hit the roads for the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend, data by national breakdown provider Green Flag predicts that faulty batteries, flat tyres and engine problems will be the biggest causes of misery for the 51,000 drivers expected to breakdown this weekend.

Last year, a staggering 10,300 flat batteries caused drivers havoc over the Whitsun weekend, almost one puncture a minute took place on Britain's roads and five people an hour ended up at the roadside due to their cars overheating. Green Flag has revealed this data with the hope of encouraging people to check their cars before they travel to give families the best chance of getting to their destination no matter what.

However, there are still some events that you will never be able to prepare for. Thirteen drivers every hour locked their keys in their car and one driver every 15 minutes put the wrong fuel into the tank.

According to Green Flag, the most common causes of Whitsun bank holiday breakdowns are:

  1. Flat/faulty batteries (10,319)
  2. Puncture (4,295)
  3. Engine faults (2,717)
  4. Clutch (1,524)
  5. Damage to fuel system (1,386)
  6. Locking keys inside car (952)
  7. Overheating (939)
  8. Damaged brakes (801)
  9. Running out of fuel (343)

Nick Reid, head of rescue at Green Flag, commented: "During the Whitsun bank holiday weekend, families across the country will be getting in their cars to make the most of the good weather and extra time off, so it's no surprise that a high number of breakdowns occur. However, the majority of these breakdowns are avoidable if people take the time to check their cars and ensure everything is in working order.

"Before setting out on the road, check your water and oil level and make sure your tyres are at the correct pressure and there's no discernable wear on them. If it’s been a while since your vehicle’s last service or you're contemplating a long journey, have your local garage check your brakes and test your battery. It’s better to take preventative action before you set off, than add delays to your holiday with an unwanted breakdown.”

In order to give Brits travelling over the long-weekend the best chance of getting to their destination no matter what, Green Flag has also prepared some hints and tips on how to avoid and prepare for breakdowns before you set off on the road:

  1. Walk around the car and look for any signs of potential trouble, especially tyres and lights
  2. Check tyre pressures, spare included
  3. Check all fluid levels and top up if necessary
  4. Make sure you have breakdown cover. If you’re travelling abroad make sure your cover extends to your trip away. If it doesn’t, you may need to arrange separate cover
  5. Keep a road map in the car so you’ll be able to explain where you are when you call for help. Don’t rely on the map on your phone – you won’t always have signal
  6. Keep some coins or a phonecard in the car in case you need to call for help and there’s no mobile phone signal
  7. Make sure your phone battery is topped up – think about buying an in-car charger just in case you need it
  8. Have the number for your emergency breakdown provider handy – you’ll usually find it on your policy certificate so you could keep this in the glove box
  9. Carry a red warning triangle at all times
  10. Always keep some warm clothes, a rug and some chocolate in the car in case you get stuck in cold conditions for a long time

Breakdown hints and tips can be found here.