Motorway Breakdown: What to Do

(Image Source: Smaedli)

As much as we love and rely on them, motor vehicles are not invincible objects. No matter the quality or price you pay for them, they can break down in the most inconvenient of places, at extremely dangerous times. One of the biggest worries we have as drivers is breaking down on the motorway, as we all know too well just how hazardous such a location can be. To help you prepare for such an event, we’ve put together five simple steps you can follow to ensure you and your passengers remain safe following a breakdown on the motorway. Here we go:

Find Safety at the Closest Hard Shoulder

As soon as you feel you have an issues with your car while driving on the motorway, you should safely move across to the hard shoulder. When you arrive on the hard shoulder, position your wheels to face the grass verge and not the carriageway. Turn on your hazard lights and if it’s dark or particularly bad weather switch on the car’s sidelights.

If you are, for any reason, unable to get to the hard shoulder safely then you should immediately turn on your hazard warning lights. This will alert the vehicles following you and minimise the potential of risk. Next, call for emergency assistance.

Get all Passengers out of the Vehicle

Although being on the hard shoulder is the safest place to be with regards to motorway breakdowns, sitting in the car with fast moving traffic whizzing by is not, so get all the passengers out of the vehicle quickly, using just the two doors on the safest side. Keep the passengers together on the grass verge and position them as far away from the traffic as possible.

Request Assistance

Now everyone is as safe as can be, call for assistance. Use either your breakdown service or the Highways Agency, both of which are designed to help these exact situations. Use your mobile phone if you have one or alternatively use one of the free phones provided every mile along the hard shoulder.

Most of the time, breakdown recoveries are given priority due to the extent of danger the passengers face in such an exposed environment. This means assistance should never be far away.

Do Your Part for Safety

During the time you’re awaiting assistance, you as the driver have one responsibility and that’s keeping your passengers safe. Don’t let them get back into the parked vehicle and ensure they stay well away from the carriageway.

Getting Back on the Road

If you’re lucky, your vehicle may be able to be fixed on the roadside – be it permanently or temporarily to get you home. If this happens to be the case, don’t forget safety from here and be sure to merge back onto the motorway safely. The best way to do this is to use the hard shoulder to build up momentum and help you match the speeds of the traffic you’re joining.