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Dealing with link breaks in MANETs is a challenge for the routing protocol. This paper proposes a mechanism to reduce the negative impact of link breaks on the routing. The transmission area of a node is divided into a safe zone close to the node and an unsafe zone (i.e. buffer zone) near the end of the transmission range. The probability is high that link breaks occur with neighboring nodes located in the buffer zone, while links to neighboring nodes in the safe zone are expected to be more stable. Thus, neighbors in the safe zone are preferred as relay nodes, while neighbors in the buffer zone are only used if necessary to avoid network partitioning. The main cost of this mechanism is that the mean number of hops between two nodes is higher than without the mechanism, but simulations show that the solution offers increased throughput.