In the event of a breakdown – Part 1
Breaking down on the motorway is very dangerous and can be a scary experience, so it’s important that you know prior to it actually happening what the safest way to handle such an event is.
Breaking down on the motorway can be dangerous not only for you, but for other road users too, so it’s your responsibility to make sure that you know how to react safely.
Warn other road users
If you find your vehicle slowing down rapidly then you should try to warn other road users by switching on your hazard lights straight away.
Safely move onto the hard shoulder
You then need to steer your vehicle onto the hard shoulder of the motorway as soon as it is safe to do so. Remember though that the hard shoulder of the motorway should only be used in an absolute emergency.
Park safely and get passengers out
Stop your car as far to the left on the hard shoulder as is possible and turn the steering wheel to the left so that your car’s wheels are turned towards the verge. Any passengers in your vehicle should exit the vehicle using the doors on the left hand side; any animals should be left inside the vehicle. If you have warm, waterproof or reflective clothing in the car then these should be worn and passengers should wait for help behind the motorway barrier if there is one, or up the embankment, as far away from the carriageway as possible.
Call for help
Even if you think you can repair your vehicle yourself you should not attempt to do so on the motorway. Once you’re outside of the vehicle and in a safe location you should use your mobile phone to call the company that you have your breakdown cover with to come and help you.
If you don’t have a mobile phone or if it is out of battery or doesn’t have signal then you will need to walk to the nearest emergency breakdown phone. You will be able to see arrows on posts on the hard shoulder follow these arrows to find your nearest free emergency telephone.
If you can’t get to the hard shoulder
If your car stops moving very suddenly and you find yourself broken down in the middle of the motorway then it’s very important to remember not to get out of your vehicle. With cars moving at such high speeds it is important to stay inside your vehicle and call the emergency services if you have a mobile phone with you. Don’t attempt to cross the motorway or move your vehicle.