How to stay safe if you break down on the motorway
With many workers using Britain’s roads every day for business and commuting, it is inevitable that breakdowns and emergencies will occur. It is important that drivers know how to deal with such incidents, especially on the fast-paced motorway.
With traffic going as fast as 70mph, breaking down on the motorway can be a stressful and dangerous experience. Follow our advice to ensure you stay safe should it ever happen to you.
The hard shoulder is the safest place
When you first notice that something’s wrong, you should start to move over to the hard shoulder and put your hazard lights on. This will alert other road users that there is a problem. By doing this, other drivers will be able to let you get to the hard shoulder safely and may also alert drivers behind them that there is a hazard ahead.
But I can’t get to the hard shoulder!
If, for any reason, you are unable to get to the hard shoulder, you should switch on your hazard lights immediately. Once you have pulled over, turn your steering wheel to the left so that your wheels are facing left, away from the motorway. This will reduce the chance of your car rolling on to the motorway on the right hand side if it is hit by another vehicle, or brakes fail.
Exit to the left
Once you have stopped the car you should get yourself and your passengers out – from the left side door. Pets should be left in the car to avoid causing another hazard. Once out of the car you should put on a fluorescent jacket if you have one available – it is always handy to carry one of these in your boot just in case.
If it’s too dangerous, stay inside
If you decide it is too dangerous you should stay in your car, with your seatbelt fastened. Call your breakdown service provider for help.
What if I don’t have breakdown cover?
There are various options for you if you do not have breakdown cover. In the case of a breakdown you could contact your local garage. Most garages will be able to come out and either tow your car to safety or fix it at the side of the road. This method will come with an up front cost and often there is a charge per mile if your car needs to be towed – this will differ from garage to garage.
Another option is to phone the highway agency. They will be able to come out, for a fee, and tow your car to a local garage to be fixed. This method may mean that you will be rescued sooner, but it does come at a cost.
There is also the possibility of signing up to a breakdown care provider while at the side of the road. This will also result in an upfront cost and as you are in an emergency situation they may be at liberty to charge you slightly more than a new customer.
Leave it to the professionals
When at the side of the road you may be tempted to try and fix the problem yourself. It is best that you wait for help and let the professionals deal with the problem. Even if you feel you know what the problem is, you should wait for it to be fixed in a safe and reliable way.
Re-joining the motorway
When it comes to getting back on the road after your problem is fixed, you should be aware of all other vehicles around you. When re-joining the motorway you should be cautious of other cars that may be stopped on the hard shoulder. You should make it clear that you are moving back onto the motorway and ensure that you are moving into a clear space.
Call us when you need help
If you have an ACVM contract vehicle, then you will be provided with 24 Hour Emergency Recovery. This is a service we provide ourselves via our Maintenance team based in Glasgow. So if you need help, call us and we’ll help get you mobile again as quickly as possible.