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Breaking Down on the Motorway What Should you Do?

By: Simon McBride - Updated: 21 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Motorway Breakdown Breakdown Recovery

Breaking down from time to time is one of those things, but do you know aht to do if you do? If not don't panic, just read on and find out exactly what to do in the event of a breakdown.

Guidelines on What to do in the Event of a Breakdown

The following guidelines are set by the Highway Code.

  • You must try to get your vehicle off the road as soon as possible so that you do not delay or block other road users.
  • It is good road sense to warn other road users that your vehicle may be causing an obstruction and that they should take care and slow down. You can do this by switching the hazard warning lights on.
  • Remember to put on light-coloured or fluorescent clothing in daylight and reflective clothing at night or in poor visibility so that other road users can see you.
  • If it is possible you should always keep the sidelights switched on in your car when broken down at night time or in poor visibility as it will alert other road users that your car has stopped.
  • You should not stand at the rear of your vehicle or let any other passengers stand here – it is best to move to the side and if there is a bank then move up it and wait until help arrives.

Rules on Breaking Down on the Motorway

It can be more of a burden if you breakdown on a motorway but try not to panic. Traffic is not allowed to stop on a motorway unless it is in exceptional circumstances so if you breakdown then you should take note of the following rules:

  • If you think that your vehicle is not working properly then you should move to the inside lane and prepare to come off the motorway at the next junction or service station.
  • If your car’s problem becomes too serious and you are unable to continue any further then you should pull your vehicle onto the hard shoulder and park it as close to the left verge as possible with your front wheels turned into the left.
  • Stopping as close to an emergency phone as possible is a good idea as it means you will not have to walk up the hard shoulder to get to and from an emergency phone.
  • Always leave the vehicle by the door that is closest to verge rather than the door that is close to live lanes of the motorway.
  • Ensure all occupants exit the vehicle like you have and remember that all animals must be left in the vehicle unless it is an emergency and that you can keep them under control while you are standing on the verge waiting for help.
  • Never put yourself in danger by trying to repair you vehicle, wait on help from a breakdown recovery.
  • If you feel at risk from another person, make sure to return to your vehicle by a left-hand door and lock all doors. Leave your vehicle again as soon as you feel this danger has passed.

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